Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books challenges students grades four through six to become familiar with literature. Comprehension and retention are put to the test in a Jeopardy-style battle. Area schools create their own teams and gather at the library to compete in a five week battle on questions derived from twenty selected books. Battle books are chosen by Eisenhower librarians, Battle Coaches, and participating students.
If you are a student in grade four through six and would like to participate in Battle of the Books, please see your school’s Battle Coach to sign up. Need help contacting your coach? Call Kids World at 708-867-2298.
The 2022-2023 Battle Schedule
- Practice Battle: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle 1: Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle 2: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle 3: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle 4: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle 5: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 4pm
- Battle of the Books Award Ceremony: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 4pm
The above dates are scheduled to be held in-person at Eisenhower Public Library District. Your school coach may have additional times for team practices. Please see your coach for information on those.
Watch this page or the Kids World Blog for updated notices and posts regarding the Battle season.
Each member of the team must read the minimum number of books based on their grade level to participate in Battle. There are 20 books on the list, so team members are encouraged to read more than the minimum.
- 4th Grade = six books minimum
- 5th Grade = seven books minimum
- 6th Grade = eight books minimum
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.
Elvin Link, Please Report to the Principal’s Office! by Drew Dernavich
A penchant for doodling often lands fifth-grader Elvin Link in the principal’s office, but also helps with crime-solving and standing up to bullies.
Power Up by Sam Nisson
Miles and Rhys know each other only as Gryphon and Backslash, and in the video game Mecha Melee they’re an unstoppable team. They’re the best friends they’ve got, online or in the real world, and they don’t even realize they go to the same middle school. But real-life wrongdoing blasts their duo into a crater the size of Arcticon. With life online and off a complete mess and BattleCon–and the Every Game Ever tournament–just weeks away, can the boys play their way back to each other? Graphic Novel.
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Growing up in the same Chinese-American suburb, perfectionist Christine and artistic, confident, impulsive Moon become unlikely best friends, whose friendship is tested by jealousy, social expectations, and illness. Graphic Novel.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnat’s family has a history of bad luck, so he isn’t too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys’ juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. There is no lake – it has been dry for over a hundred years – and it’s hardly a camp. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed. The warden claims that this pointless labor builds character, but she is really using the boys to dig for loot buried by the Wild West outlaw Kissin’ Kate Barlow. The story of Kissin’ Kate, and of a curse put on Stanley’s great-great-grandfather by a one-legged gypsy, weaves a narrative puzzle that tangles and untangles, until it becomes clear that the hand of fate has been at work in the lives of the characters – and their forebears – for generations.
Librarian and Coach’s Choices
Button Pusher by Tyler Page
Tyler’s brain is different. Unlike his friends, he has a hard time paying attention in class. He acts out in goofy, over-the-top ways. Sometimes, he even does dangerous things–like cut up a bus seat with a pocketknife or hang out of an attic window. To the adults in his life, Tyler seems like a troublemaker. But he knows that he’s not. Tyler is curious and creative. He’s the best artist in his grade, and when he can focus, he gets great grades. He doesn’t want to cause trouble, but sometimes he just feels like he can’t control himself. Graphic Novel.
How to Train Your Dad by Gary Paulsen
Twelve-year-old Carl is fed up with his father’s single-minded pursuit of an off-the-grid existence. His dad may be brilliant, but dumpster-diving for food, scouring through trash for salvageable junk, and wearing clothes fully sourced from garage sales is getting old. Increasingly worried about what schoolmates and a certain girl at his new school might think of his circumstances–and encouraged by his off-kilter best friend–Carl adopts the principles set forth in a randomly discovered puppy-training pamphlet to “retrain” his dad’s mindset . . . a crackpot experiment that produces some very unintentional results.
Just Right Jillian by Nicole D. Collier
Fifth grader Jillian will do just about anything to blend in, including staying quiet even when she has the right answer. After she loses a classroom competition because she won’t speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school’s biggest competition. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done, and Jillian has only a month to keep her promise to her grandmother and prove to herself that she can speak up and show everyone her true self.
When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle
In 1940, with his father off to war, Joseph is sent on a train out of his British town into the care of Mrs. F., a gruff woman with no great fondness for children. But he soon discovers her softer side when she takes him to the rundown city zoo and he learns she is the only one who ever checks in on it. Many of the animals have escaped, been released, or have sadly starved . . . but not Adonis, a huge silverback gorilla. Adonis is strong and ferocious-and a danger to the whole city if a bomb should fall and damage the fence that keeps him in. But as Joseph struggles in his new school and starts to spend more time at the zoo, he finds, unexpectedly, Adonis becoming a loyal new friend.
Cleo Porter and the Body Electric by Jake Burt
In a future forever changed by a pandemic, a girl survives in total isolation. A woman is dying. Cleo Porter has her medicine. And no way to deliver it. Like everyone else, twelve-year-old Cleo and her parents are sealed in an apartment without windows or doors. They never leave. They never get visitors. Their food is dropped off by drones. So they’re safe. Safe from the disease that nearly wiped humans from the earth. Safe from everything. The trade-off? They’re alone. Thus, when they receive a package clearly meant for someone else–a package containing a substance critical for a stranger’s survival–Cleo is stuck. As a surgeon-in-training, she knows the clock is ticking. But people don’t leave their units. Not ever. Until now.
The Lost Ryū by Emi Watanabe Cohen
Kohei Fujiwara has never seen a big ryū in real life. Those dragons all disappeared from Japan after World War II, and twenty years later, they’ve become the stuff of legend. Their smaller cousins, who can fit in your palm, are all that remain. And Kohei loves his ryū, Yuharu, but Kohei has a memory of the big ryū. He knows that’s impossible, but still, it’s there, in his mind. In it, he can see his grandpa – Ojiisan – gazing up at the big ryū with what looks to Kohei like total and absolute wonder. When Kohei was little, he dreamed he’d go on a grand quest to bring the big ryū back, to get Ojiisan to smile again. But now, Ojiisan is really, really sick. And Kohei is running out of time. Kohei needs to find the big ryū now, before it’s too late. With the help of Isolde, his new half-Jewish, half-Japanese neighbor; and Isolde’s Yiddish-speaking dragon, Cheshire; he thinks he can do it. Maybe. He doesn’t have a choice.
Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda Dobbs
It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna’s mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. Before her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra vows to him that she will care for the family she has left–her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito–until they can be reunited. They flee north through the unforgiving desert as their town burns, searching for safe harbor in a world that offers none.
Each night when Petra closes her eyes, she holds her dreams close, especially her long-held desire to learn to read. Abuelita calls these barefoot dreams: “They’re like us barefoot peasants and indios–they’re not meant to go far.” But Petra refuses to listen. Through battlefields and deserts, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border–a life where her barefoot dreams could finally become reality.
The Misadventures of Nobbin Swill: Crumbled by Lisa Harkrader
For Nobbin Swill, life is no fairy tale. His family has been the king’s royal dung farmers for generations. It’s a stinky job and someone has to do it, but Nobbin doesn’t want to spend his whole life as a dung farmer. On a dark, cloudy night, Nobbin catches a flicker of moonlight glimmering off something in the dung. It could be a button or a buckle, something that might fetch him a coin from the shoemaker. But it turns out to be a very valuable ring–the king’s ring, and one that could offer Nobbin a life free from dung! But Nobbin isn’t a thief and would never steal from the king, so he makes his way to the castle. When he tries to return the ring, things only become more complicated, and he ends up having to help the hapless Prince Charming solve a mystery when the woodcutter’s children–Gretel, and her younger brother, Hansel–go missing. Will the two be able to solve the case?
Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust by Renée Hartman
I was ten years old then, and my sister was eight. The responsibility was on me to warn everyone when the soldiers were coming because my sister and both my parents were deaf.
I was my family’s ears.
Meet Renee and Herta, two sisters who faced the unimaginable — together. This is their true story.
As Jews living in 1940s Czechoslovakia, Renee, Herta, and their parents were in immediate danger when the Holocaust came to their door. As the only hearing person in her family, Renee had to alert her parents and sister whenever the sound of Nazi boots approached their home so they could hide.
But soon their parents were tragically taken away, and the two sisters went on the run, desperate to find a safe place to hide. Eventually they, too, would be captured and taken to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Communicating in sign language and relying on each other for strength in the midst of illness, death, and starvation, Renee and Herta would have to fight to survive the darkest of times.
Pawcasso by Remy Lai
Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. Excited to make new friends, Jo reluctantly hides the truth and agrees to let “her” dog model for an art class the kids attend. What could go wrong? But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows Great Dane-sized when animal control receives complaints about a dog roaming the streets off-leash. With Pawcasso’s freedom at stake, is Jo willing to spill the truth and risk her new friendships? Graphic Novel.
Bouncing Back by Scott Ostler
Back in his old basketball league, before the car accident, thirteen-year-old Carlos Cooper owned the court, sprinting and jumping and lighting up the scoreboard as his opponents (and teammates) watched in amazement. But now, Carlos feels completely out of his league on his new wheelchair basketball team, the Rollin’ Rats. After all, how can he make a layup when he’s still struggling to learn how to dribble? But when the city’s crooked mayor threatens to tear down the Rollin’ Rats’ gym, Carlos realizes that he can’t stay on the sidelines forever. Because without a gym, the team can’t practice, and if they can’t practice, they can kiss their state tournament dreams goodbye. If Carlos is going to learn what it truly means to be part of a team and help his new friends save their season, he’ll have to either go all-in . . . or get out.
Spark of the League of Ursus by Robert Repino
Spark is not your average teddy bear. She’s soft and cuddly, sure, but she’s also a fierce warrior. At night she fulfills her sacred duty: to protect the household from monsters. But Spark’s owner Loretta is growing up and thinks she doesn’t need her old teddy anymore. When a monster unlike any other descends on the quiet home, everything changes. Children are going missing, and the monster wants Loretta next. Only Spark can stop it. She must call upon the ancient League of Ursus–a secret alliance of teddy bears who are pledged to protect their human friends. Together with an Amazon princess doll and a timid sock monkey, the bears are all that stands between our world and the one that lies beneath. It will be a heroic chapter in the history of the League . . . if the bears live to tell the tale.
Packing for Mars: For Kids by Mary Roach
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post ) asks the questions children ask in this young readers adaptation of her best-selling Packing for Mars. What is it like to float weightlessly in the air? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk? How do astronauts go to the bathroom? Is it true that they don’t shower? Can farts really be deadly in space? Best-selling Mary Roach has the answers. Roach guides us through the irresistibly strange, frequently gross, and awe-inspiring realm of space travel and life without gravity. From flying on NASA’s Weightless Wonder to eating space food, Packing for Mars for Kids is chock-full of first-hand experiences and thorough research.
Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traoré
In a remote Nigerian village, thirteen-year-old Simi is desperate to uncover a family secret. Ajao is nothing like Lagos — no cell phones, no running water or electricity. Not a single human-made sound can be heard at night, just the noise of birds and animals rustling in the dark forest outside. Her witch-like grandmother dispenses advice and herbal medicine to the village, but she’s tight lipped about their family history. Something must have happened, but what?
Determined to find out, Simi disobeys her grandmother and goes exploring only to find herself sinking in the red quicksand of a forbidden lake and into the strange parallel world that lies beneath. It must have been a dream… right?
Wrong. Something isn’t right. Children are disappearing and it’s up to Simi to discover the truth.
Three Keys by Kelly Yang
The story of Mia and her family and friends at the Calivista Motel continues in this powerful, hilarious, and resonant sequel to the award-winning novel Front Desk. Mia Tang thinks she’s going to have the best year ever. She and her parents are the proud owners of the Calivista Motel, Mia gets to run the front desk with her best friend, Lupe, and she’s finally getting somewhere with her writing! But as it turns out, sixth grade is no picnic… 1. Mia’s new teacher doesn’t think her writing is all that great. And her entire class finds out she lives and works in a motel! 2. The motel is struggling, and Mia has to answer to the Calivista’s many, many worried investors.3. A new immigration law is looming and if it passes, it will threaten everything — and everyone — in Mia’s life. It’s a roller coaster of challenges, and Mia needs all of her determination to hang on tight. But if anyone can find the key to getting through turbulent times, it’s Mia Tang! Book 2 in the Front Desk series.