Yay for Bartimaeus!

The Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan Stroud, emerged victorious in the School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books, facing off against Kathi Appelt's Keeper and Megan Whalen Turner's Conspiracy of Kings. Richard Peck, the judge who found himself in the difficult position of having to chose the winner, described Ring thusly: "Think Old Testament Noel Coward." And explains his reasoning: "Because its very length and the wit of its diction are stinging retorts to both the grade-level textbook and Facebook. And because the fun is in how the tale is told, the yarn spun. Jonathan Stroud doesn’t control language; he unleashes it. The real magic here is in the turning phrase, and how much our texting young need that, and the liberation of laughter."

It was my pick too, much as I love MWT....It's rare to find a book so snarkily tasty, if you know what I mean. Here's my review.

(I bravely read my way through Stroud's trilogy about Bartimaeus' later adventures, but found them too heavy and depressing for my taste. But many people like them better than this one...)


  1. I have actually never read any of the Bartimaeus books. I just picked up the trilogy from the library today. I will keep in mind what you've said about this one if I found those too dark. That's why I haven't read them yet.

  2. Funny--I liked this one better than the trilogy, too! And yes, it's a good pick, especially as summed up by our brilliant elder statesman and master of craft, Richard Peck.

  3. Horray! I was also rooting for this one. It's my favourite of the four.

  4. I did like the later books better, and they are oddly popular with my students for some odd reason, but I am SOOOOO glad this won! The MWT and Keeper did not make me happy at all.

  5. I didn't buy Ring of Solomon b/c the trilogy isn't really popular at my library (and I didn't like it. too dark!) But maybe I'll give it another chance if it's really funny...I kind of regret buying Keeper - I didn't read the review closely enough, saw the word "mermaid" and added it. Oops!

  6. I have this on my tbr list! I really liked the first book in the series--so funny--but I wasn't as excited about the others. Wonder how I'll feel about this one...



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