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During the month of March, two of the four elementary schools I work at hold Battle of the Books. Students work in teams and have a month to read 10 different books. When the month is over they go head to head with other teams in a winner take all trivia challenge. Inspired by my students I present to you my own B.O.B., only this one is going to be an all out pop and lock danceoff between the Indie bestsellers and the New York Times bestsellers. So pick a side because I’m about to start taking bets. How does one win this battle? I suppose the one with the most books I like takes the cake. Let’s start with the NYT lists:

Picture Books

1 GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder. (Workman, $12.95.) Animals seem to move when you flip the page. Ages 4 to 8  
2 HENRY’S FREEDOM BOX, by Ellen Levine. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. (Scholastic, $16.99.) A young slave mails himself to freedom. Ages 9 to 12  
3 ZEN TIES, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth. (Scholastic, $17.99.) A panda encourages his nephew and their friends to help a grouchy neighbor. Ages 4 to 8  
4 SMASH! CRASH!, by Jon Scieszka. Illustrated by David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon. (Simon & Schuster, $16.99.) A truck named Jack and a dump truck named Dan love to smash into things. Ages 3 to 7  
5 KNUFFLE BUNNY TOO, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. (Hyperion, $16.99.) One of Trixie’s classmates has a bunny just like hers. Ages 4 to 8  

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Chapter Books

1 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES, written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. (Amulet/Abrams, $12.95.) How Greg embarrassed himself on his vacation; a sequel to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” (Ages 9 to 12)  
2 DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. (Amulet/Abrams, $12.95.) The travails of adolescence, in cartoons. (Ages 9 to 12)  
3 THE NIXIE’S SONG, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. (Simon & Schuster, $10.99.) Fire-breathing giants are on the rampage in Florida. (Ages 9 to 12)  
4 MOVING DAY, by Meg Cabot. (Scholastic, $15.99.) Allie isn’t happy about her family’s new house, far from her old friends; Book 1 of the series “Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls.” (Ages 12 and up)  
5 THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. (Scholastic, $22.99.) A novel “in words and pictures”; an orphaned thief must decipher his father’s last message. (Ages 9 to 12)  

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and now let’s see what the Independents are selling:

Children’s Illustrated

1. Gallop!
Rufus Butler Seder, Workman, $12.95, 9780761147633
 
2. Fancy Nancy Bonjour, Butterfly
Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061235887
 
3. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
 
4. Horton Hears a Who!
Dr. Seuss, Random House, $14.95, 9780394800783
 
5. Fancy Nancy at the Museum
Jane O’Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illus.), Harper, $3.99, 9780061236075
 

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Children’s Intrest

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810994737
 
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810993136
 
3. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $11.99, 9780375842207
 
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $22.99, 9780439813785
 
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie, Little Brown, $16.99, 9780316013680
 

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Wow, this is pretty hard actually. I usually side with the Independents, but this Fancy Nancy takeover of the Indie charts is making me lean toward the Times. Yep, I think that’s it. New York Times bestsellers take the top prize this week. I’ll give you a chance to win your money back next time.

(Image: ‘Wired – The Battle Over Books
http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468141938@N01/70101799)