Battle of the Books

Reading can be fun and a tad competitive!

Battle book clubs begin Monday, Oct. 19th, 11:30-12:00 in the Library Google Classroom

Anyone, grades 4-6, can attend the book clubs.  No sign-up necessary.  Come to one or come to them all! Battle prep will begin in February with the final Battle of the Books on March 22nd.


Below is this year’s list of books. Each week the group will discuss ONE of the books.  We will decide the order in which we read at our first meeting.


More details are available in the Library Google classroom, or you may email Ms. Brinkhuis with questions.


Books in order of reading as decided at the 10/19 meeting:

1. Last Kids on Earth
2. White Bird
3. Hero
4. One and Only Bob
5. Things Seen from Above
6. Mananaland
7. Ghost
8. Quintessence
9. Other Words for Home
10. Vander Beekers


2020-2021 Battle of the Books List

1. Other Words for Home / Warga
Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before.

But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

2. Ghost / Reynolds
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

3. Hero / Lupica
Shortly after his father dies in a plane accident, 14-year-old Zach Harriman discovers that his father was more than just a highly placed government adviser; he might have been a superhero. As he investigates his father's death, he meets an old man named Mr. Herbert, who claims that Zach has magic within him, and Zach soon discovers that the mild hints of power he'd shown--a sixth sense about danger and an ability to heal quickly--are only the tip of the iceberg.

4. Last Kids on Earth /Brallier
Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he's armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack's loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack's crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer!


5. White Bird / Palacio (GN)
Palacio adds another layer to the Wonder universe with this graphic novel debut. Julian calls his grandmother, Sara, to interview her for a class project. What follows is a story of resistance, bravery, and survival, beginning in unoccupied France, during Hitler’s rise. While her non-observant, affluent Jewish family is safe for some time, it isn’t long before Sara’s mother disappears and Jewish students are taken from the school. She escapes the roundup by hiding in the school and is discovered by Julian, an ostracized classmate badly disabled by a childhood bout of polio. Julian hides Sara in a barn near his house, where his family keeps her safe until the end of the war. It is this friend whom her grandson Julian is named for.

6. One and only Bob / Applegate
Lovers of The One and Only Ivan will rejoice over this new tale about Ivan's best friend, Bob. Bob is a street dog who survives on his own until he stumbles upon a roadside attraction featuring a gorilla named Ivan. Through his new friendships with Ivan and an elephant named Ruby, he meets Julia—a human he might just trust. After Ivan and Ruby are moved to a zoo, Bob moves into Julia's house. Bob isn't exactly content living as a house pet, but his favorite thing to do is visiting his friends at the zoo with Julia. During one of their zoo visits, a tornado hits and Bob is spiraled into the air and away from his three friends. In this story of true friendship, hope, and courage, Bob learns to appreciate and cherish those he loves.

7. Things Seen from Above / Pearsall
When sixth-grader April Boxler volunteers to spend time on the school playground's Buddy Bench, she doesn't expect it to change the way she sees everything. In fact, she only agreed to spend recess with the fourth graders to avoid dealing with her own changing friendships. But it's on the bench where April first watches fourth-grader Joey Bird walking in what seems to be deliberate patterns. Thanks to the help of the kind school janitor, Mr. Ulysses, April is able to get a "bird's-eye view" of Joey's playground designs. She begins to recognize the quiet boy's unique perspective.

8. Mananaland / Ryan
Eleven-year-old Maximiliano Córdoba lives in Santa Maria village with his father's extended family of stone masons. On the mundane level, he wants to join a fútbol clinic with his friend Chuy, but an abandoned stone tower—La Reina Gigante—makes him wonder about hidden refugees fleeing the neighboring country of Abismo. While Max's father is away, Max encounters a refugee, Isadora, and learns his family are secretly guardians who help people flee to safety. In his father's absence, Max determines to guide Isadora to the next stop with all the dangers that entails, partly to discover information about his long-absent mother.

9. Quintessence / Redman
In the wake of moving to a new town, 12-year-old Alma seems to have lost herself. Depression and the sudden onset of panic attacks worry her parents, who have been pushing her to acclimate, but when Alma happens upon an old, abandoned curiosity shop, a strange old man gifts her with a magical telescope, a mysterious quest, and sudden purpose. After a star—in the form a child—falls from the sky into Alma’s backyard, she understands that she must help the celestial being return to its home in the heavens and, in doing so, connect with new friends—and reconnect with herself.


10. Vanderbeekers / Glaser
The Vanderbeekers rent the bottom two floors of a four-story brownstone from an inexplicably grouchy and reclusive landlord, Mr. Beiderman. The story opens on December 20, with the Vanderbeeker parents telling their five children, who range from age four to 12, that Mr. Beiderman is not renewing their lease and at year’s end they will have to move out of the New York City home they’ve loved for years. The stunned children mount a mission to change their landlord’s mind in 11 days.



REVISED as of 9/8/2020


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