Battle of the Books
For over twenty years, the Paulding County Carnegie Library (PCCL) has sponsored and coordinated a county-wide reading competition called Battle of the Books. Fifth and sixth grade teams made up of up to six students, read fifty books and are then quizzed during a competition first at the school level and then at the county level for the championship. Each school library receives up to twenty-five new books each year. Thanks to the generous donations from Lafarge Corp and area professionals, the cost of the books is covered as well as t-shirts and medals Schools participating have included: Antwerp Elementary, Divine Mercy Catholic School, Grover Hill Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, Payne Elementary, and Paulding Elementary. Home-schooled students have also formed winning teams.
Objectives of the Battle of the Books
- Promote leisure reading
- Provide an opportunity for students to read books about a variety of subjects
- Prepare students with the skills to help them critique and appreciate good literature
- Develop reading comprehension and retention
- Enhance feeling of accomplishment through literary competition
Selection of books for the Battle of the Books
The staff of the PCCL system compiles a reading list each year for the Battle of the Books competition. There are fifty titles on the list that vary from easy to more difficult within the 5th and 6th grade reading level. The books chosen to be included on the Battle of the Books list are not picked at random, but are selected through a very lengthy process. Staff members read the books and compile questions for the competition. The following criteria may be utilized when selecting titles:
- Literary contribution for both fiction and non-fiction books
- Popular authors
- Favorable reviewed works from such publications as: Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews
- Award-winning titles (Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Notable Books, Batchelder, etc.)
- Recommendations from teachers, students, parents
- Historically important titles
Where are the books for the competition housed?
All titles on the list are available at the main library in Paulding and all branches as well as the Bookmobile. All of the titles are also purchased for each school library through grant money made available by Lafarge Corporation. A complete book list is given to each school for distribution. The list is also available on the library website and at all branch locations, including the Bookmobile.
How does the competition work?
Preliminary competitions are held at each school in the spring and conducted by staff members of the PCCL. The team with the most points in the final round of the school advances to the county finals, usually held in April or May.
Those teams competing in the county finals receive t-shirts and a number of awards and prizes.
Each book on the Battle of the Books list has been read by a library staff member who compiled ten questions for that book. There are 50 books on the list, so there are a possible 500 questions that could be asked. The competition consists of a series of 20 randomly chosen questions asked alternately between two teams.
Each team has an opportunity to confer with team members. The captain then provides the answer within the 30-second allotted time period. Two points are given for each correct answer. A bonus point is given if the team is able to give the author’s last name.
The questions go back and forth until the 20 questions are asked. In the county finals, the teams compete in the semi-finals first. The team with the most points continues to advance on until there are two teams left. Those two teams battle in the finals to be the champions of Battle of the Books!
The winning school receives a trophy. But, better than the trophy are the “bragging rights” that go to the winner of the Battle of the Books! For more information regarding the Battle, contact Sara Molitor, head of youth services, at 419-399-2032.
Rules for Battle of the Books are subject to change or revision.
Paulding County Carnegie Library Youth Services
2016-2017 BATTLE OF THE BOOKS TITLES
- Alistar Grim’s Odditorium, by Gregory Funaro – When Grubb, an orphan and runaway chimney sweep, entered the wondrous world of the Odditorium, his life changed forever. Apprenticed to the mechanical marvel’s strange proprietor, Alistair Grim, Grubb unfortunately must settle into his new position on the lam, as all of England is convinced that Alistair Grim is a villain. Grim, however, has come up with a plan to expose the real villain: Prince Nightshade, a wicked necromancer who wants the Odditorium’s power source for himself.
- All the Answers, by Kate Messner What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear. With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won’t predict the future.
- Appleblossom the Possum, by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out!
- Audacity Jones to the Rescue, by Kirby Larson Audacity Jones is an eleven-year-old orphan who aches for adventure, a challenge to break up the monotony of her life at Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls. Life as a wayward girl isn’t so bad; Audie has the best of friends, a clever cat companion, and plenty of books to read. Still, she longs for some excitement, like the characters in the novels she so loves encounter. So when the mysterious Commodore Crutchfield visits the school and whisks Audie off to Washington, DC, she knows she’s in for the journey of a lifetime. But soon, it becomes clear that the Commodore has unsavory plans for Audie — plans that involve the president of the United States and a sinister kidnapping plot. Before she knows it, Audie winds up in the White House kitchens, where she’s determined to stop the Commodore dead in his tracks. Can Audie save the day before it’s too late?
- Beetle Boy, by M.G. Leonard – Darkus Cuttle’s dad mysteriously goes missing from his job as Director of Science at the Natural History Museum. Vanished without a trace! From a locked room! So Darkus moves in with his eccentric Uncle Max and next door to Humphrey and Pickering, two lunatic cousins with an enormous beetle infestation. Darkus soon discovers that the beetles are anything but ordinary. They’re an amazing, intelligent, super species and they’re in danger of being exterminated. It’s up to Darkus and his friends to save the beetles. But they’re up against an even more terrifying villain — mad scientist of fashion, haute couture villainess Lucretia Cutter. Lucretia has an alarming interest in insects and dastardly plans for the bugs. She won’t let anyone or anything stop her, including Darkus’s dad, who she has locked up in her dungeons! The beetles and kids join forces to rescue Mr. Cuttle and thwart Lucretia.
- The Big Dark, by Rodman Philbrick – What would you do if every spark of electricity suddenly vanished, as if somebody had flipped a switch on the entire planet? Cars won’t start, the heat shuts off, there’s no water in your faucet, and your radio, TV, and flashlight go dark. Everyone in Charlie’s small town is baffled. But as time passes, lawlessness erupts and takes an ugly turn. When the market and pharmacy are torched by an anti-Semitic arsonist, Charlie realizes his mother will die without her medicine. So he dons skis and heads off alone, seeking the nearest hospital. After traveling 50 miles through brutal ice and snow, Charlie encounters a burned-out, looted city of terrified citizens. Will he be able to save his mom?
- The Bolds, by Julian Clary – The Bold family seems fairly normal: they live in a nice house, the parents have good jobs, and they all love to have fun. One slight difference: they’re hyenas. That’s right—they’re covered in fur, have tails tucked into their clothes, and really, really like to laugh. For years, the Bolds have kept their true identities under wraps. But now the neighbors are getting suspicious, and the Bolds are getting homesick. During a trip to the local wildlife park, they meet an old hyena who is going to be put down, and the Bolds have to act fast to save him—without revealing their secret!
- Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman – For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game. Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game―before those who attacked Griswold come after them too.
- The Boundless, by Kenneth Oppel -The greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?
- Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson – Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.
- Circus Mirandus, by Cassie Beasley – Do you believe in magic? Micah Tuttle does. Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.
- Class Dismissed, by Allan Woodrow – Class 507 is the worst class Ms. Bryce has ever taught. And she would know — she’s been teaching forever. They are so terrible that when a science experiment goes disastrously wrong (again), Ms. Bryce has had it and quits in the middle of the lesson. But through a mix-up, the school office never finds out. Which means… Class 507 is teacher-free! The class figures if they don’t tell anyone, it’ll be one big holiday. Kyle and his friends can play games all day. Samantha decides she’ll read magazines and give everyone (much needed) fashion advice. Adam can doodle everywhere without getting in trouble. Eric will be able to write stories with no one bothering him. And Maggie… well, as the smartest kid in the class she has an ambitious plan for this epic opportunity. But can Class 507 keep the principal, the rest of the students, and their parents from finding out… or will the greatest school year ever turn into the worst disaster in school history?
- A Clatter of Jars, by Lisa Graff – In this magical companion to the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, it’s summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don’t know is that they’ve been gathered for a reason—one that the camp’s director wants to keep hidden at all costs. Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper’s head and placed into another. And no one knows why.
- Dear Hank Williams, by Kimberly Willis Holt – It is 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee’s new teacher has just given her class an assignment–learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits.
- Firefly Hollow, by Alison McGhee – Firefly doesn’t merely want to fly, she wants to touch the moon. Cricket doesn’t merely want to sing about baseball, he wants to catch. When these two little creatures with big dreams wander out of Firefly Hollow, refusing to listen to their elders, they find themselves face-to-face with the one creature they were always told to stay away from…a giant. But Peter is a Miniature Giant. They’ve always been told that a Miniature Giant is nothing but a Future Giant, but this one just isn’t quite as big or as scary as the other Giants. Peter has a dream of his own, as well as memories to escape. He is overwhelmed with sadness, and a summer with his new unlikely friends Firefly and Cricket might be just what he needs. Can these friends’ dreams help them overcome the past?
- The First Last Day, by Dorian Cirrone – The magic of summer comes to life in this enchanting middle grade debut about an eleven-year-old girl who must save the future by restarting time after she realizes that her wish to relive the last day of summer may not have been such a great thing after all. What if you could get a do-over—a chance to relive a day in your life over and over again until you got it right? Would you? After finding a mysterious set of paints in her backpack, eleven-year-old Haleigh Adams paints a picture of her last day at the New Jersey shore. When she wakes up the next morning, Haleigh finds that her wish for an endless summer with her new friend Kevin has come true. At first, she’s thrilled, but Haliegh soon learns that staying in one place—and time—comes with a price. And when Haleigh realizes her parents have been keeping a secret, she is faced with a choice: do nothing and miss out on the good things that come with growing up or find the secret of the time loop she’s trapped in and face the inevitable realities of moving on.
- Flunked, by Jen Calonita – Gilly wouldn’t call herself wicked, exactly…but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly’s a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself). Until she gets caught. Gilly’s sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there’s more to this school than its heroic mission. There’s a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?
- The Great Good Summer, by Liz Garton Scanlon – Ivy Green’s mama has gone off with a charismatic preacher called Hallelujah Dave to The Great Good Bible Church of Panhandle Florida. At least that’s where Ivy and her dad think Mama is. But since the church has no website or phone number and Mama left no forwarding address, Ivy’s not entirely sure. She does know she’s missing Mama. And she’s starting to get just a little worried about her, too. Paul Dobbs, one of Ivy’s schoolmates, is also having a crummy summer. Paul has always wanted to be an astronaut, and now that NASA’s space shuttle program has been scrapped, it looks like his dream will never get off the ground. Although Ivy and Paul are an unlikely pair, it turns out they are the perfect allies for a runaway road trip to Florida—to look for Mama, to kiss the Space Shuttle good-bye, and maybe, just maybe, regain their faith in the things in life that are most important.
- A Handful of Stars, by Cynthia Lord – This powerful middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES explores a friendship between a small-town girl and the daughter of migrant workers. When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season. After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?
- The Hero Two doors Down, by Sharon Robinson – Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson. Steven Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing-the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve. But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It’s 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before. Then it happens–Steve’s new neighbor is none other than Jackie Robinson! Steve is beyond excited about living two doors down from the Robinson family. He can’t wait to meet Jackie. This is going to be the best baseball season yet! How many kids ever get to become friends with their hero?
- Honey, by Sarah Weeks – For a girl like Melody and a dog like Mo, life can be both sticky and sweet. Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone Honey — and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden. Meanwhile, a dog named Mo is new to Royal. He doesn’t remember much from when he was a puppy . . . but he keeps having dreams of a girl he is bound to meet someday. This girl, he’s sure, will change everything.
- Hook’s Revenge, by Heidi Schulz – Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink. So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.
- How to Speak Dolphin, by Ginny Rorby – Lily loves her half-brother, Adam, but she has always struggled with him, too. He’s definitely on the autism spectrum–though her step-father, Don, can barely bring himself to admit it–and caring for him has forced Lily to become as much mother as sister. All Lily wants is for her step-father to acknowledge that Adam has a real issue, that they need to find some kind of program that can help him. Then maybe she can have a life of her own. Adam’s always loved dolphins, so when Don, an oncologist, hears about a young dolphin with cancer, he offers to help. He brings Lily and Adam along, and Adam and the dolphin–Nori–bond instantly. But though Lily sees how much Adam loves Nori, she also sees that the dolphin shouldn’t spend the rest of her life in captivity, away from her family. Can Adam find real help somewhere else? And can Lily help Nori regain her freedom without betraying her family?
- Isabel Feeney Star Reporter, by Beth Fantaskey – It is 1920s Chicago—the guns-and-gangster era of Al Capone—and it’s unusual for a girl to be selling the Tribune on the street corner. But ten-year-old Isabel Feeney is unusual . . . unusually obsessed with being a news reporter. She can’t believe her luck when she stumbles not only into a real-live murder scene, but also into her hero, the famous journalist Maude Collier. The story of how the smart, curious, loyal Isabel fights to defend the honor of her accused friend and latches on to the murder case like a dog on a pant leg makes for a winning, thoroughly entertaining middle grade mystery.
- The Island of Dr. Libris, by Chris Grabenstein – What if your favorite characters came to life? Billy’s spending the summer in a lakeside cabin that belongs to the mysterious Dr. Libris. But something strange is going on. Besides the security cameras everywhere, there’s Dr. Libris’s private bookcase. Whenever Billy opens the books inside, he can hear sounds coming from the island in the middle of the lake. The clash of swords. The twang of arrows. Sometimes he can even feel the ground shaking. It’s almost as if the stories he’s reading are coming to life! But that’s impossible . . . isn’t it?
- Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, by Liesl Shurtliff – All his life, Jack has longed for an adventure, so when giants turn up in the neighbor’s cabbage patch, he is thrilled! Soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. The kingdom of giants is full of super-sized fun: puddings to swim in, spoons to use as catapults, monster toads to carry off pesky little sisters. . . . But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they’ll do anything—even dive into a smelly tureen of green bean soup—to get it back.
- The Last Invisible Boy, by Evan Kuhlman – Finn Garrett is disappearing. He used to have black hair and skin-colored skin, but each day his hair gets whiter and his skin gets more transparent. It’s been happening since the day his father died, and he can’t figure out how to stop it. Before he vanishes completely, Finn is writing everything down for us, his faithful readers. His words and pictures are the memoirs of The Last Invisible Boy. At turns funny and moving, Evan Kuhlman’s first novel for children, featuring drawings by cartoonist J.P. Coovert, is a magnificent and original tale of love and loss
- Lucky Strike, by Bobbie Pyron – Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He’s never won a prize, he’s never been picked first, and he’s never even won a coin toss. His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday… and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck. Suddenly, Nate’s grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can’t last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.
- Masterminds , by Gordon Korman – Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else. The thirty kids who live there never lie—they know it’s a short leap from that to the awful problems of other, less fortunate places. Eli has never left Serenity . . . why would he ever want to? Then one day, he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents.
- Mission Mumbai, by Mahtab Narsimhan – When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend Rohit Lal on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to use his time in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents’ constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.
- The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, by Rodman Philbrick – In this Newbery Honor-winning page-turner, twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother, Harold, who has been sold into the Union Army. With laugh-aloud humor, Homer outwits and outruns a colorful assortment of civil War-era thieves, scallywags, and spies as he makes his way south, following clues that finally lead him to Gettysburg. Even through a hail of gunfire, Homer never loses heart–but will he find his brother? Or will it be too late?
- A Nest for Celeste, by Henry Cole – Celeste is a mouse who is looking for a home. Is it nestled in the toe of a warm boot? In the shirt pocket of Celeste’s new friend Joseph, who is Audubon’s apprentice? Or is home the place deep inside Celeste’s heart, where friendships live?
- The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs, by Cylin Busby – Captain Natick does not want to take a kitten on board his ship when it sets sail in 1837, but his daughter convinces him that the scrawny yellow cat will bring good luck. Onto the ship the kitten goes, and so begins the adventurous, cliff-hanging, lucky life of Jacob Tibbs. At first, Jacob’s entire world is the ship’s hold, where the sailors heave their heavy loads and long-tailed rats scurry in the darkness. But before long, Jacob’s voyage takes him above deck and onward to adventure. Along the way, Jacob will encounter loss and despair; brave thunderous storms at sea, face down a mutiny, survive on a desert island, and above all, navigate the tricky waters of shipboard life and loyalties.
- Odessa Again, by Dana Reinhardt – Fourth grader Odessa Green-Light lives with her mom and her toad of a little brother, Oliver. Her dad is getting remarried, which makes no sense according to Odessa. If the prefix “re” means “to do all over again,” shouldn’t he be remarrying Mom? Meanwhile, Odessa moves into the attic room of their new house. One day she gets mad and stomps across the attic floor. Then she feels as if she is falling and lands . . . on the attic floor. Turns out that Odessa has gone back in time a whole day! With this new power she can fix all sorts of things–embarrassing moments, big mistakes, and even help Oliver be less of a toad. Her biggest goal: reunite Mom and Dad.
- One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia – Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She’s had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. When they arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with her, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.
- The Only Girl in School, by Natalie Standiford – When Claire’s best friend, Bess, moves away, she becomes the only girl left in her entire school. At first, she thinks she’ll be able to deal with this — after all, the girls’ bathroom is now completely hers, so she can turn it into her own private headquarters and draw on the walls. When it comes to soccer games or sailing races, she can face off against any boy. The problem is that her other best friend, Henry, has begun to ignore her. And Webby, a super-annoying bully, won’t leave her alone. And Yucky Gilbert, the boy who has a crush on her, also won’t leave her alone. It’s never easy being the only one — and over the course of a wacky school year, Claire is going to have to make it through challenges big and small. The boys may think they rule the school, but when it comes to thinking on your feet, Claire’s got them outnumbered
- The Paper Cowboy, by Kristin Levine – Though he thinks of himself as a cowboy, Tommy is really a bully. He’s always playing cruel jokes on classmates or stealing from the store. But Tommy has a reason: life at home is tough. His abusive mother isn’t well; in fact, she may be mentally ill, and his sister, Mary Lou, is in the hospital badly burned from doing a chore it was really Tommy’s turn to do. To make amends, Tommy takes over Mary Lou’s paper route. But the paper route also becomes the perfect way for Tommy to investigate his neighbors after stumbling across a copy of The Daily Worker, a communist newspaper. Tommy is shocked to learn that one of his neighbors could be a communist, and soon fear of a communist in this tight-knit community takes hold of everyone when Tommy uses the paper to frame a storeowner, Mr. McKenzie. As Mr. McKenzie’s business slowly falls apart and Mary Lou doesn’t seem to get any better, Tommy’s mother’s abuse gets worse causing Tommy’s bullying to spiral out of control.
- Pax, by Sara Penny Packer – Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .
- Public School Superhero, by James Patterson – Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he’s Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he’s a chess club devotee known as a “Grandma’s Boy,” a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?
- The Rookie Bookie, by Jon L. Wertheim – Using the tips, truths, and stats they explore in their New York Times bestseller Scorecasting, two dads pack super sports savvy and important math and financial concepts into a fun and heartwarming first novel for kids. New kid Mitch Sloan wants to fit in, but his nerdy love of statistics and making money isn’t winning him any friends in his sports-loving town–until he finds the perfect way to attain instant popularity. But running a football betting ring at school eventually turns sour, and Mitch loses the only real friend he’s made. He’ll have to win her back by using his brainpower for good and helping the school football team achieve victory–if they’ll listen to the advice of a former bookie!
- Ruby Lee and Me, by Shannon Hitchcock – Everything’s changing for Sarah Beth Willis. After Robin’s tragic accident, everyone seems different somehow. Days on the farm aren’t the same, and the simple fun of riding a bike or playing outside can be scary. And there’s talk in town about the new sixth-grade teacher at Shady Creek. Word is spreading quickly–Mrs. Smyre is like no other teacher anyone has ever seen around these parts. She’s the first African American teacher. It’s 1969, and while black folks and white folks are cordial, having a black teacher at an all-white school is a strange new happening. For Sarah Beth, there are so many unanswered questions. What is all this talk about Freedom Riders and school integration? Why can’t she and Ruby become best friends? And who says school isn’t for anybody who wants to learn–or teach? In a world filled with uncertainty, one very special teacher shows her young students and the adults in their lives that change invites unexpected possibilities.
- The Turn of the Tide, by Rosanne Parry – On a beautiful day in June, the ground broke open. In Japan, you’re always prepared for an earthquake. That’s why Kai knows just what to do when the first rumbles shake the earth. But he does the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do: He runs. And then the tsunami hits. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, Kai’s cousin Jet sets sail off the coast of Astoria, Oregon. She knows she should have checked the tide—she always checks the tide. Except this time she didn’t. When the biggest mistakes of their lives bring them together, Jet and Kai spend the summer regretting that one moment when they made the wrong decision. But there’s something about friendship that heals all wounds, and together, Jet and Kai find the one thing they never thought they’d have again—hope.
- The War that Saved my Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
- A Week Without Tuesday, by Angelica Banks -Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding―putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener―the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they’ll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn’t know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?
- Who was Babe Ruth?, by Joan Holub – Babe Ruth came from a poor Baltimore family and, as a kid, he was a handful. It was at a reform school that Babe discovered his talent for baseball, and by the age of nineteen, he was on his way to becoming a sports legend. Babe was often out of shape and even more often out on the town, but he had a big heart and an even bigger swing! Kids will learn all about the Home Run King in this rag-to- riches sports biography. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, a true sports legend is brought to life.
- Who was Neil Armstrong?, by Roberta Edwards – On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and, to an audience of over 450 million people, proclaimed his step a ?giant leap for mankind.? This Eagle Scout built his own model planes as a little boy and then grew up to be a test pilot for experimental aircraft before becoming an astronaut. Over 80 black-and-white illustrations bring Armstrong?s story to life.
- Wilder Boys, by Brandon Wallace – Two brothers will need all their wilderness skills to survive when they set off into the woods of Wyoming in search of their absent father. Jake and Taylor Wilder have been taking care of themselves for a long time. Their father abandoned the family years ago, and their mother is too busy working and running interference between the boys and her boyfriend, Bull, to spend a lot of time with them. Thirteen-year-old Jake spends most of his time reading. He pours over his father’s journal, which is full of wilderness facts and survival tips. Eleven-year-old Taylor likes to be outside playing with their dog, Cody, or joking around with the other kids in the neighborhood. But one night everything changes. The boys discover a dangerous secret that Bull is hiding. And the next day, they come home from school to find their mother unconscious in an ambulance. Knowing they are no longer safe and with nowhere else to go, the Wilder Boys head off in search of their father. They only have his old letters and journal to help them, but they have to make it. It’s a long journey from the suburbs of Pittsburgh to the wilderness of Wyoming; can the Wilder Boys find their father before Bull catches up with them?
- Woof, by Spencer Quinn – There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp — Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they’re lying. Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It’s not just that her grammy’s stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It’s the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It’s the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.
- The Worst Class Trip Ever, by Dave Barry – In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip to Washington, DC. Wyatt, his best friend, Matt, and a few kids from Culver Middle School find themselves in a heap of trouble-not just with their teachers, who have long lost patience with them-but from several mysterious men they first meet on their flight to the nation’s capital. In a fast-paced adventure with the monuments as a backdrop, the kids try to stay out of danger and out of the doghouse while trying to save the president from attack-or maybe not.
- Vietnam War Heroes: 10 True Tales, by Allan Zullo – Twenty-eight soldiers–all but five badly wounded or dead in the first few minutes of a devastating ambush–are fending off 200 North Vietnamese soldiers. US platoon leader Lieutenant Hal Fritz shouts to his comrades, “We will never give up!” Dozens of severely wounded soldiers are trapped in a fog-shrouded outpost and under merciless attack by the enemy. No other medical helicopter pilot will dare attempt a rescue, except for Major Patrick Brady. These and other American heroes risked their lives serving their country in the Vietnam War. You will never forget their courageous true stories.