Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet the 2011 Round 1 Judges: Part 1

I put a lot of work into organizing the YA Bloggers Book Battle.  But I couldn't do that work alone.  I'm very blessed to have a lot of very talented volunteers on my side this year (we had over 50 people apply!).  Due to the sheer number of nominations this year, we added another round of judging to the festivities this year.  These Round 1 judges are currently tearing through the list of around 80 nominations, and they are doing a fantastic job! 

This feature is intended to introduce these magnificent volunteers and thank them for all their hard work.  Today, we're meeting four of the Round 1 judges, but keep an eye on the for future introductions too.  So without further ado, let's get to know some great bloggers a little better!

Natalie from Mindful Musings (You may recognize Natalie from last year's battle.  We're happy to have her back this year!)
My name is Natalie, and I'm a junior in college who's majoring in English Literature and minoring in Spanish. My blog, Mindful Musings, focuses heavily on all genres of YA fiction, so I'm super excited to be participating in the Book Battle as a judge again this year! The fact that this year's theme is Best Overlooked Book is awesome, and I'm hoping that the Book Battle will bring lots of new publicity to books that have yet to step into the spotlight.

Stephanie at Bookworm1858:
I am a soon-to-be college graduate (!) who has used blogging as relaxation from schoolwork. Although I read many genres, YA holds a special place in my heart and I've loved getting to explore its subgenres and virtually meeting others who love YA through blogging. I'm really excited about the battle this year because I missed most of it last year. As a Round 1 Judge, I've fallen in love with some amazing books that I probably would have never known about.

Mouseprints from Thick and Thin Things
I grew up in 5 different countries in Africa (Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, and Lesotho), from shortly after birth until I left at 18 to go to university, and am so grateful to my parents that I had that opportunity. That experience shaped my life, especially when it comes to reading. I am passionate about good books: any knowledge that has stuck with me, I learned either from reading a good book or through first-hand experience.  After graduating from university, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served honorably for 4 years.  I married a fellow Coastie who served NO BOAT TIME (scandalous!) He was a crew chief on HH-60 helos. Now he flies a desk as a Project Manager for a building automations company.  Through some careful planning, I get to stay home with three amazing daughters (Olivia, Karina, and Susanna) and learn about whatever floats our boat.  I blog at Thick and Thin Things about books that my children and I are reading, and some (not much) of the etcetera of our lives.

Kailia at Reading the Best of the Best:
My name is Kailia and I’m 16. I love to read and write and I hope to one day have a book published. When I’m not reading I’m usually hanging out with friends or watching a movie or writing. I started Reading the Best of the Best because I loved to read and I loved sharing my thoughts about the books with other people.

Lets give our judges all a huge round of applause!


Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Thanks for the feature, Alyssa! I'm so excited to be included in such an awesome event with so many fantastic bloggers!

Anonymous said...

I've had such a great time participating in this event! It's fun (and exhausting!) reading this list of books, most of which have previously slipped under my radar.

Thanks again, Alyssa, for the opportunity to participate!

(And it's nice to meet some of the other amazing bloggers, who were just names on a spreadsheet before. I look forward to meeting you all.)

Bookworm14 said...

Nice to get some background on some of our judges. Fun to check out their blogs and find new books that they've reviewed. Always on the hunt for the next literary gotta have...