Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books is sponsored by the CPES Library. This page is available as a courtesy to the library.


Reading can be fun and a tad competitive!

  • Grades 4-6
  • Book Clubs meet Thursdays 8:00-8:20, beginning the week of October 16.
  • Battle will be March 21, 2024

Please email Ms. Brinkhuis with questions.



2023-2024 Battle of the Books List

Summaries/reviews adapted from School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and other review sources.


The Beatryce Prophecy / DiCamillo (Historical Fiction/ low Fantasy)

DiCamillo returns to fairy-tale mode with the story of a girl destined to unseat a king. One by one the players take the stage: Answelica, a fearsome goat whose teeth mirror her soul—“large, sharp, and uncompromising”; hapless Brother Edik, who sees beauty everywhere; Beatryce, a bedraggled child who arrives at the monastery knowing only her first name and who shocks the monks by being able to write; Jack Dory, an orphan with a gift for mimicry; and finally Cannoc, an old man who has given up everything except laughter.


City Spies / Ponti (Action/Adventure)

In this action-packed spy novel, 12-year-old Sara Martinez, who is Latinx, faces juvenile detention for hacking into New York City’s juvenile justice computer system to reveal her foster parents’ misdeeds and cruelties. When a mysterious man who calls himself “Mother” appears, posing as her attorney, he persuades the judge to release Sara into his custody, then gives her an option: attend a U.K. boarding school or join the Secret Intelligence Service. Within a few short days, Sara is being trained for a secret mission with one of Britain’s most elite group of spies—all of whom are under the age of 16. Now, Sara uses her impressive knowledge of computers to stop a villain who is planning an attack at a youth environmental summit in Paris.


Coyote Sunrise / Gemeinhart (Realistic Fiction)

Coyote is a young girl traveling the American countryside with her father. The pair made a home of a refurbished school bus after a terrible car accident killed Coyote's mother and two sisters. When Coyote learns that a park that holds an important part of her past is set to be demolished, she and her father set a course back to Washington state. Through their travels, Coyote and her father pick up a kitten, wayward travelers, and knowledge of all kinds. Readers will be drawn into the story of Coyote immediately.


Finally Seen / Yang (Realistic Fiction)

Lina was five years old when her parents and two-year-old sister moved from China to America, leaving Lina with her beloved grandmother. For five years, Lina has wondered why she was left behind. Now she is flying to Los Angeles to grow up with her sister and her parents. Confused by the disconnect between her dreams of America and the reality of her family’s poverty, she helps her mother make and sell items in hopes of avoiding eviction from their small apartment.


The Hatmakers / Merchant (Fantasy)

In the Hatmaker House in London, everyone except for Cordelia Hatmaker, 11, believes that her father, Captain Prospero Hatmaker, was lost at sea during “an ingredient-hunting expedition” for hat components. Sending a quest pigeon with a note, Cordelia remains optimistic; after all, her father’s adventurous life has inspired her own. Cordelia and her family make up the Hatmaker Guild, which serves the Crown by creating magical hats that influence behavior. But trouble brews in England, as King George’s bizarre recent impulses have increased tensions with France. Commissioned to create Peace Clothes along with the other Maker families and faced with the threat of being banned from making anything ever again, the Hatmakers hope to help prevent conflict before King Louis declares war on England.


Out of my mind / Draper (Realistic Fiction)

Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but hindered by physical limitations and misunderstandings. She will never sing or dance, talk on the phone, or whisper secrets to her friends. She's not complaining, though; she's planning and fighting the odds. In her court are family, good neighbors, and an attentive student teacher.


Secret Garden / Marsden (Classic adaptation/Graphic Novel)

Marsden and Luechtefeld's graphic novel reimagines Burnett's story of a lonely girl who blossoms while tending to a garden. This pleasant, evenly paced retelling is a good entry point for reluctant readers into classic children's literature. The parallels between the tending of the garden and character development within the story are reflected in the beautiful, hand drawn—style artwork, which gradually brightens from a washed-over neutral palette to lighter.


Superteacher Project / Korman (Realistic Fiction)

Oliver, self-proclaimed "number one rule-wrecker," spitballs new teacher Mr. Aidact on the first day of seventh grade. But when Aidact catches the projectile between his thumb and forefinger, it's clear this rookie is no ordinary teacher. Aidact's popularity quickly grows to hero status: teachers dump unwanted assignments on him, and students are enthralled by his vast knowledge and enthusiasm. What is the secret of Aidact's success? Why does he never eat or drink, and why is his student teacher much older than he is? Korman plants clues readers will notice quickly, so only Oliver and the students are shocked when Aidact is revealed to be a robot and his student teacher is a Department of Education engineer assigned to monitor this experimental project.


Wednesday Wars / Schmidt (Historical Fiction)

On the first day of the 1967-68 school year, Holling Hoodhood thinks he's made a mortal enemy of his new teacher when it turns out he's the only seventh-grader who does not leave early every Wednesday to attend Hebrew school or catechism. Holling is Presbyterian, and though eminently likeable, he does have a knack for unintentionally making enemies. Stern Mrs. Baker first gives him custodial duties, but after hilarious if far-fetched catastrophes involving chalk dust, rats and freshly baked cream puffs, she switches to making him read Shakespeare. He overcomes his initial horror, adopting the Bard's inventive cursing as his own to dress down schoolyard bullies. References to the events of the day are made, from the Vietnam War to the Civil Rights movement. 


A Wolf Called Wander / Parry (Low Fantasy)

Swift, a yearling wolf, is separated from his family after a rival wolf pack attacks and claims his family's territory as their own. His thousand-mile journey across the Pacific Northwest to find a new home brings danger, hunger, and desperate loneliness. Inspired by the story of OR-7, a real wolf naturalists tracked in the wild, Parry perfectly conveys her character's curious, alert, and social nature.


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