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.

Battle of the Books typically takes place in February, March, and April. The dates for the 2020-2021 Battle Season will be announced soon. Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic will be taken into consideration as we plan for this year’s Battle of the Books. The health and safety of our community is a top priority. Battles may take place virtually or otherwise in accordance with best safety practices.

Watch this page or the Kids World Blog for updated notices and posts regarding the Battle season.

Reading Requirements

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


2020-2021 Books


Returning Titles

New Kid


New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds–and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Hoopla EbookOverdrive Audiobook | Hoopla Audiobook | Author’s Website

Shiloh


Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Author’s Website

Time Museum


Time Museum: Volume 1 by Matthew Loux
Science-loving Delia Bean is expecting to have a pretty boring summer vacation looking after her little brother. But when her Uncle Lyndon offers her an internship in his Earth Time Museum, everything begins to look a lot better!
Book  | Overdrive EbookAuthor’s Website

Front Desk


Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: 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 immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Book | Overdrive Eook | Audiobook CD | Overdrive Audiobook | Author’s Website


Kids Choice

Smile


Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.
Book | Overdrive Ebook


Librarian and Coach’s Choices

Lions & Liars


Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley
Frederick Frederickson has a food-chain theory about life. There are lions, like the school bully. Gazelles, like the bullied kids. There are meerkats, and the fleas that live on the butts of meerkats. Frederick’s a flea.

Fifth grade is off to a terrible start when Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp for troublesome boys. His fellow troop mates—Nosebleed, Specs, The Professor, and little-yet-lethal Ant Bite—are terrifying. But in between trust-building exercises and midnight escape attempts, a tenuous friendship grows between them. Which is lucky, because a Category 5 hurricane is coming and everyone will have to work together—lions and fleas alike—to survive!
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Audiobook CD

The Call Me Guero


They Call Me Güero by David Bowles
Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with an English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. In Spanish, “Güero” is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd–reader, gamer, musician–who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She’s tough as nails. But trusting in his family’s traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope. He writes poetry.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Hoopla Ebook

Finding Langston


Finding Langston by Lese Cline-Ransome
When eleven-year-old Langston’s mother dies in 1946, he and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago’s brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. It’s lonely in the small apartment with just the two of them, and Langston is bullied at school. But his new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Hoopla Audiobook | Audiobook CD

90 Miles to Havana


90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
When Julian’s parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Hoopla Audiobook

Rick


Rick by Alex Gino
Rick’s never questioned much. He’s gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff’s acted like a bully and a jerk. He’s let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn’t given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out. But now Rick’s gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school’s Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that… understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Hoopla Audiobook

The Girl in the Locked Room


The Girl in the Locked Room by Mary Downing Hahn
A family moves into an old, abandoned house. Jules’s parents love the house, but Jules is frightened and feels a sense of foreboding. When she sees a pale face in an upstairs window, though, she can’t stop wondering about the eerie presence on the top floor–in a room with a locked door. Could it be someone who lived in the house a century earlier?

Her fear replaced by fascination, Jules is determined to make contact with the mysterious figure and help unlock the door. Past and present intersect as she and her ghostly friend discover–and change–the fate of the family who lived in the house all those many years ago.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Hoopla Audiobook

Hero on a Bicycle


Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes
Italy, 1944: Florence is occupied by Nazi forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though—and neither have thirteen-year-old Paolo and his sister, Costanza. As their mother is pressured into harboring escaping POWs, Paolo and Costanza each find a part to play in opposing the German forces. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings—with only a bicycle to help them—do against a whole army?
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Hoopla Ebook


When Stars Are Scattered


When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook

Indian No More


Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis
Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe’s reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight–even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.

Now that they’ve been forced from their homeland, Regina’s father signs the family up for the federal Indian Relocation Program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She’s never met kids of other races, and they’ve never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.
Book

Free Lunch


Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school’s free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger—that of a child for his parents’ love and care.
Book | Overdrive Ebook

Look Both Ways


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy — Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Lotioning up. Finding comfort. But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Audiobook CD

We're Not From Here


We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
The first time I heard about Planet Choom, we’d been on Mars for almost a year. But life on the Mars station was grim, and since Earth was no longer an option (we may have blown it up), it was time to find a new home.

That’s how we ended up on Choom with the Zhuri. They’re very smart. They also look like giant mosquitos. But that’s not why it’s so hard to live here. There’s a lot that the Zhuri don’t like: singing (just ask my sister, Ila), comedy (one joke got me sent to the principal’s office), or any kind of emotion. The biggest problem, though? The Zhuri don’t like us. And if humankind is going to survive, it’s up to my family to change their minds. No pressure.
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Overdrive Audiobook | Audiobook CD

Haroun and the Sea of Stories


Haroun & the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
In an Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.
Book | Overdrive Ebook

Candy Bomber


Candy Bomber by Michael O. Tunnell
After World War II the United States and Britain airlifted food and supplies into Russian-blockaded West Berlin. US Air Force Lieutenant Gail S. Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. To lift their spirits, he began dropping chocolate and gum by parachute. Michael O. Tunnell tells an inspiring tale of candy and courage, illustrated with Lt. Halvorsen’s personal photographs, as well as letters and drawings from the children of Berlin to their beloved “Uncle Wiggly Wings.”
Book | Overdrive Ebook | Hoopla Ebook

Bad Order


Bad Order by Barb Bentler Ullman
Mary Day’s life has always been different, because her little brother, Albie, is different. He doesn’t speak, but he can communicate with Mary via mental telepathy. Then, one snowy day, Albie transmits an alarming two-word message: Bad order. Soon after, Mary and her best friend, Brit, discover a mysterious red mist in the woods that seems to draw them in… and turn all their feelings negative. A visit from three extraterrestrials (hilariously trying to pass as human) reveals the truth: there’s a disastrous leak in the dimensional universe — and if Albie can’t repair it, angry, evil thoughts will overtake the entire population.

Can Mary, Brit, Brit’s brother Lars, and Albie save the world? And will Mary finally realize that she, like Albie, has something special inside herself?
Book | Overdrive Ebook