The Battle of the Books is a popular program at CPES where students read books, discuss those books, and then compete on teams to see who has the most knowledge about their chosen book. It's a long-held tradition at CPES and a bunch of fun! If you want to encourage your 4th, 5th, or 6th grader in their reading, this is a great way to do it!
If you want to read some excellent middle-grade books yourself, please consider joining the Battle planning team. This fall, parent help is needed with leading a weekly book club for a chosen book from the Battle list. The students will decide which Tuesday the book will be discussed and you'll come to the library that particular Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., to lead the discussion. Assistance is also needed in writing Battle questions from the comfort of your home ("In which book did a small green “zombie” wait in a closet for his friend to return?"). In the spring, more volunteers will be needed for Battle practices and the big event. If you'd like to volunteer, please email our school librarian, Mrs. Brinkhuis.
Below is the book list for 2018-2019 Battle of the Books! Pick one (or more!) that looks good to you, read it when your child does and have your own book discussions at home, too. And please consider lending your support to this awesome program!
Amulet, V. 1 / Kibuishi
This first volume in the new Amulet graphic novel series introduces Emily, who has relocated to a strange house in the woods, where she finds a magical amulet left behind by her great grandfather. Soon after, she and her brother engage in a wild adventure to learn the secrets of the amulet and save their mother.
Ban this Book / Alan Gratz
Fourth grader Amy Anne Ollinger is an avid reader, and when she learns that her favorite book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, is on a list of titles removed from the school library, she decides to read the other books on the list, from the likes of Blume, Dahl, and Pilkey. Other students want to do the same, and so the Banned Books Locker Library is born. Amy Anne and two friends collect the books, store them in her locker, and organize a checkout/due date system.
Bob / Wendy Maas and Rebecca Stead
It's been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy's grandmother in Australia. Now that she's back, Livy has the feeling she's forgotten something really, really important about Gran's house.
It turns out she's right. Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn't forget Livy, or her promise. He's been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can't remember who--or what--he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it's time to keep that promise.
Forget Me Not / Ellie Terry
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn't mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn't long before the kids at her new school realize she's different. Only Calliope's neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is--an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?
Front Desk / Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. She wants to be a writer, but how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
House Arrest / Holt
Timothy stole a wallet, and now he's considered a delinquent. The only places he's allowed to go are to school and to appointments with his therapist and probation officer. Also, the judge gave him a journal-writing assignment. If Timothy shows signs of remorse and doesn't get into more trouble over the course of the next year, he may be able to avoid being sent to juvie. But Timothy didn't take the wallet for himself. His family is in dire financial straits ever since his father left and his younger brother was born with serious health issues. Now, with plenty of spare time on his hands, Timothy can fully explore his complicated feelings about his current family situation. This gripping novel in verse evokes a wide variety of emotional responses, as it is serious and funny, thrilling and touching, sweet and snarky.
A Night Divided / Nielsen
Young Gerta wakes up to see that the Berlin Wall has been built overnight, dividing not only her city but her family. Her father and brother Dominic went looking for work on the west side of the city and now they cannot return home. Gerta, her mother, and brother Fritz are trapped in East Berlin. Determined to bring her family together, the 12-year-old is more than ready to take a dangerous chance when her father's smuggled clues encourage her to dig a tunnel to freedom.
Real Friends / Shannon Hale
At its best, friendship is breezy and affirming, but getting there isn't always so easy. Best-seller Hale knows this firsthand, and in this winsome graphic memoir, dynamically illustrated with Pham's lively artwork, she gives readers insight into her own, sometimes rocky relationships
Stef Soto, Taco Queen / Torres
Stef Soto is tired of feeling babied by her parents, and she's especially tired of being known as the Taco Queen because of her dad's food truck, called Tia Perla. She wants them to give her a little more freedom, but she's having trouble working out how to prove she's mature enough. When her family's livelihood is threatened by new food truck codes, Stef wants to speak out in defense of Tia Perla, but she's not quite sure where to begin. This cheery, relatable story features short and sweet chapters with plenty of Spanish words and phrases sprinkled in and a cheer-worthy main character.
The Boy Who Went Magic / A.P. Winter
The mages of Ferenor were outlawed and destroyed by the royal family centuries ago for performing incredible feats and powering wondrous machines with their magic, and the world is a much duller place. Bert is a young boy who's lived in an orphanage longer than he can remember, but then a chain of strange and inexplicable mishaps causes Bert's life to spiral out of control. After a series of harrowing escapes, Bert finds himself sailing across a sea of clouds with the mysterious Professor, pursued by a royal prince who's desperate to get his hands magic at any cost. For magic is all too real and even more powerful than imagined -- and Bert just might hold the key to bringing it back to the world
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler / Konisburg
When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in “Claudia appreciation.” And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia was a good organizer and her brother Jamie had some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule.
The Unicorn in the Barn / Ogborn
For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away. One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn't have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn't born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead.
When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed.
Tumble and Blue / Beasley
When the red moon rises over the heart of the Okefenokee swamp, legend says that the mysterious golden gator Munch will grant good luck to the poor soul foolish enough to face him. But in 1817, when TWO fools reach him at the same time, the night's fate is split. Half of the descendants have great fates, and the other half have terrible ones. Now, Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery are determined to fix their ancestors' mistakes and banish the bad luck that's followed them around for all of their lives. They're going to face Munch the gator themselves, and they're going to reclaim their destinies.
Wishtree / Applegate
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"--people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced.