Blogger Emily Bayci

Literary March Madness

March Madness is in full swing! Yes the basketball games have officially begun but the college basketball tournament has expanded to a phenomena of competitions and brackets galore. A “one day” goal of mine is for a literary march madness bracket at the library. I’d like to delve deeper than a “battle of the best picture books.” Here are some ideas– let me know which one is your favorite. Or better yet add some ideas of your own!

  1. Battle of the Illustrations. 

This entire bracket would be based in pictures and would be renowned pictures from different picture books. From the hilarious toilet scene in “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch, to the riveting conclusion of “This Is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen to the scene where the zookeeper’s wife returns all the animals to their rightful homes in “Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann. The possibilities are gorgeous

2. Judge a Book by the Cover

Another visual bracket, this competition would put creative and engaging titles and covers up against one another. A perk of the visual competitions is individuals of all ages can participate. People that who are not familiar with the books can participate.

3. Say What?!

There are so many memorable quotes and passages in children’s literature. This would take the passages and pit them against each other. It is another competition individuals can participate in without being familiar with the books.

4. #Girlpower

In addition to March Madness, the third month of the year also marks Women’s History Month in the United States. What’s a better way to celebrate than a bracket challenge of female characters? There are so many to choose from that I think the biggest challenge would be narrowing it down to a pool of 64 to begin with!

5. Dictionary Makers

This bracket would take a lot of research to be completely accurate, but many children’s authors are credited for inventing their own words. Chortle is credited to Lewis Carroll from “Through the Looking Glass,” nerd was introduced by Dr. Seuss in “If I ran the Zoo,” although “not in the sense that we use today according to Merriam-Webster. Battle of the words could be an educational and entertaining bracket.

Which bracket is your favorite? Any other ideas for literary march madness brackets? Let me know in the comments!

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency: II. Reference and User Services.

One comment

  1. Kary Henry

    I love all of these ideas! For six years, we’ve run a March Madness-style Tournament of Books here. This year, we had 5 brackets (picture books, early readers, chapter books, comic books, and teen fiction), featuring the top-32 circulating books from the previous year in each bracket. We partner with the school librarians, who allow the kids to vote when they visit the school library, and we also have iPad voting stations in our Teen and Youth Services Departments. This year, we shattered our previous voting record: kids voted over 15,000 times in the six-week-long Tournament!

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