How it Works• Read as many of the 18 books as you can before May 3, 2011• Take an RC test on each book you read.• I would also encourage you to fill out the journal page on each book• The more details in your journals, the more you will remember.
Battle Test• In April you should study your summary sheets and/or reread some of the battle books. Then each of you will take a Qualifying Test that shows how well you know the books and the authors.• The top 3 students from each class will make the Battle Team, plus an alternate.• On May 10, 2012, we will have the school- wide Battle and then on May 17th, 2012 we will Battle other schools in the district at Encino Park Elementary
The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom AnglebergerTommy comes right out with his dilemma on pageone. “The big question: Is Origami Yoda real? . . .It’s REALLY important for me to figure out if he’sreal. Because I’ve got to decide whether to take hisadvice or not, and if I make the wrong choice, I’mdoomed!” It’s strange to think that Tommy would bethis torn up over an origami finger puppet belongingto the school’s biggest dork. But then he startsrecounting for us the wonders of Origami Yoda’sadvice. It may not always be spot on, but it’scertainly heads and tales more intelligent thanDwight, the boy who created the puppet and whovoices him (poorly).SLJ Fusenews (June 16th, 2010 )
The Case of the Case of the Mistaken Identity by Mac BarnettIf there’s one thing Steve Brixton knows about it’sdetective work. And why wouldn’t he? A fan of the greatBailey Brothers book series, Steve is pretty confidentthat in the event of a crime he’d definitely be the one tosolve it in the end. So all things considered, he’sprobably the perfect fellow to be mistaken for an evilspy. That’s just what happens when Steve goes into hislocal library to check out a book on quilting for a schoolproject. Next thing he knows, Steve’s discovered that alllibrarians belong to a highly specialized force ofundercover agents and he has, unwittingly, pittedhimself against them. Now he has to clear his name andfind out the true villains before the librarians get theirhands on him once and for all.SLJ Fusenews (Sept. 26, 2009)
Cicada Summerby Andrea BeatyLily, who hasn’t spoken since the accident that killedher brother two years ago, does nothing to contradictthe general notion that she is now brain damaged.She finds comfort in the openhearted affection of anelderly neighbor and in reading Nancy Drewmysteries on the sly. After Tinny, a troubled new girlin their small Illinois town, discovers that Lily is hidingthe fact that she can still read, Lily finds it increasinglydifficult to maintain the facade that has been heremotional shield.Booklist (Carolyn Phelan )
Masterpieceby Elise Broach James lives an invisible existence in a grand apartment on the Upper East Side. His mother, busy with her new husband and baby and her climb up the Manhattan social ladder, has little time for him. By contrast, Marvin, a beetle whose overprotective, extended family resides behind James’ mother’s kitchen, gets more attention than he wants. The two find friendship when James’ artist father gives him a pen-and-ink set, and Marvin discovers his talent for “drawing,” crafting delicate, museum-quality miniatures with his legs. When Marvin and James find themselves embroiled in a plot to steal a Dürer drawing from the Metropolitan Museum, they must find creative ways to communicate to foil the thieves and protect the masterpiece. Booklist (Thom Barthelmess )
Obi, Gerbil on the Loose by Michael Delaney Obi is content with her simple life in a cage—or apartment, as she likes to think of it—cared for by her human owner, Rachel. Then one day, Rachels family leaves for vacation. Tad, a neighbor, comes to feed their many pets, but he seems to have forgotten that the gerbil exists. Obi doesnt know how long the Armstrongs will be gone, and shes starving. Thus begins her quest for freedom, food, and to find out if Rachel really cared enough to leave Tad a note to feed her. Along the way, Obi hilariously confronts three sadistic cats, a harebrained parrot, a menacing tarantula and snake, and a paranoid squirrel who thinks Obi is a jailed criminal. SLJ (November 1, 2008)
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler This first installment in a new trilogy for early readers introduces a dog whose first family went away and never returned. Buddy ended up in the pound, where he was adopted by a boy, Connor, and his mom, who coincidently live in his old neighborhood. Buddy, who enjoyed sleuthing with his original owner, is now trying to solve the mystery of his missing family, a mission he will pursue throughout the series. First, though, he has an immediate problem to solve: Connor has disappeared. Buddy tries to find him, relying on methodical reasoning and unexpected assistance from a cat who can read. Booklist (Kara Dean)
Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit by Joan CarrisThe wildlife shelter is having some new pens built, soveterinarian Grandpa Bender is enlisted to take in aCanada goose with an arrow through its neck, amuskrat with an infected foot, and a pair of orphanedfox kits. The narrator and main character is a mini-pignamed Ernest, who tries to watch the other animals thatreside with the vet: a Vietnamese hill mynah, a Mainecoon cat, and a Scottie pup. The animals allcommunicate with each other, and the bird actuallyspeaks to humans as well.SLJ (January 1, 2010)
Eleven by Patricia Reilly GiffSam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked boxin the attic above his grandfather Mack’s room,and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped.There are lots of other words, but Sam has alwayshad trouble reading. He’s desperate to find outwho he is, and if his beloved Mack is really hisgrandfather. At night he’s haunted by dreams of abig castle and a terrifying escape on a boat. Whocan he trust to help him read the documents thatcould unravel the mystery? Then he and the newgirl, Caroline, are paired up to work on a schoolproject, building a castle in Mack’s woodworkingshop. Caroline loves to read, and she can help.But she’s moving soon, and the two must hurry todiscover the truth about Sam.Kirkus reviews
Bird Lake Moon by Kevin HenkesTemporarily living with his mom at his grandparentshome on Bird Lake, 12-year-old Mitch Sinclairs plans tomake the seemingly abandoned house next door hisown are shattered when Spencer Stone arrives with hisfamily. Both the Sinclairs and the Stones are in crisis—Mitchs parents are divorcing, and Spencers parentsare returning to the house for the first time since thedeath of their son Matty, who drowned there whenSpencer was two. While each boy is deeply affected byhis familys drama, both are powerless to influence itsunfolding. Mitch, indignant at the Stoneses intrusion,attempts to scare them off by creating mysterious signsthat suggest a ghostly presence. Spencer observesthese signs but chooses not to share them with hisfamily. Eventually, the boys meet and connectimmediately, leaving Mitch resolved to set things right.SLJ (March 1, 2008)
Happenstance Found by P.W. CataneseHappenstance Found, 12, does not remember whohe is, where he came from, or any details of hisformer life. He wakes up in an underground cavern,accompanied by a mysterious stranger who refusesto tell him anything about his origins. The strangerhands Hap over to personable, yet in many waysequally mysterious, Lord Umber. Acting on thestrangers advice, Umber invites Hap to join hiscompany. They immediately meet with adventureand danger, and Hap learns that Umber is a man ofdiverse talents and boundless curiosity. Umberdiscovers that Hap can see in total darkness, jumpto extraordinary heights, and sense whenmomentous events are about to occur. Hap is alsobeing pursued by a menacing figure, which he andhis companions dub "the Creep." In the final conflictwith this character, Haps ingenuity, abilities, andloyalty are tested.SLJ (May 1, 2009)
Out of My Mind by Sharon DraperBorn with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has neverspoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped inan uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced byinsight and intellect, but gypped by physicallimitations and misunderstandings. She will neversing or dance, talk on the phone, or whisper secretsto her friends. Shes not complaining, though; shesplanning and fighting the odds. In her court are family,good neighbors, and an attentive student teacher.Pitted against her is the "normal" world: schools withlimited resources, cliquish girls, superficialassumptions, and her own disability. Melodys life istragically complicated. She is mainly placed in thespecial-ed classroom where education means beingbabysat in a room with replayed cartoons and nurserytunes. Her supportive family sets her up with acomputer. She learns the strength of thumbs as shetaps on a special keyboard that finally lets her "talk.“School Library Journal (Alison Follos)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Comeback Kid: Safe at Home by Mike LupicaNick Crandall, a seventh grader, is lookingforward to being the star catcher of hisjunior varsity baseball team. However, whenthe varsity team catcher is injured, Nickmust suit up behind the plate with the eighthgraders. Frustrated by Nicks presence, theteam members go to great lengths to makethe boy feel unwelcome. Nick cracks underthe pressure.SLJ (2010).
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard PeckDavy Bowman learns about sacrifice and warstamps, scrap collecting and "eight to fiveorphans"—children left alone when their mothersjoin the war effort by working in factories. His dailyadventures collecting for the war effort with hisbest friend Scooter temper his worry over hisbrother Bills safety. Davys father, a World War Iveteran, keeps up a strong front, but Davyquestions his ability to deal with Bills insecureposition flying B-17s in Germany.SLJ (July 1, 2007)
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda UrbanZoe wants to play the piano more than anything inthe world and, if given a chance, believes she canbe a prodigy. But when her father comes home witha Perfectone D-60 organ instead of a piano, Zoeknows that her dreams of becoming a world famouspianist are slipping away in Linda Urban’s novel(Harcourt, 2007). The fifth grader takes this in strideand works hard anyway, perfecting the 1970s tunesthat are in her lesson book, which leads to herparticipation in the Perform-O-Rama competitioninstead of playing at Carnegie Hall.SLJ (March 21, 2008)
The Earth Dragon Awakes by Laurence Yep Chin is a young Chinese immigrant whose father is a “houseboy” for a prominent banker and his family. He has become friendly with young Henry Travis, the banker’s son, through their interest in low-brow but exciting penny dreadfuls. The stories depict heroic people doing heroic things and, while both boys appreciate their fathers, they certainly do not regard them as heroes. Not, that is, until the Earth Dragon roars into consciousness one spring morning, tearing the city asunder and making heroes out of otherwise ordinary men. Yep’s research is exhaustive. He covers all the most significant repercussions of the event, its aftershocks, and days of devastating fires, and peppers the story with interesting true- to-life anecdotes. SLJ (May 1, 2006)
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer HolmIn 1935, jobs are hard to come by, and Turtlesmother is lucky to find work as a live-inhousekeeper. When she learns that her employercant stand children, she sends her 11-year-olddaughter from New Jersey to Key West to livewith relatives. Turtle discovers a startlinglydifferent way of life amid boisterous cousins,Nana Philly, and buried treasure. This richlydetailed novel was inspired by Holms great-grandmothers stories.SLJ (2010)
The Witches Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan A modernized version of Hansel and Gretel, with a few creepy, cannibalistic references. Sol, 11, and Connie, 8, move to Schoneberg with the man they believe is their father (he is their fathers twin) and their stepmother. The children soon discover that the neighbors pet dog has a habit of digging up human bones, and that "Dad" has a great motive for wanting them gone. SLJ(2010)
The Shadows by Jacqueline WestOlive, 11, spends much of her summer exploringher family’s new home. The previous owner of thiscrumbling Victorian mansion died and lefteverything in the house to the new owners. Olivediscovers a pair of spectacles that allow her to divein and out of the mysterious paintings that fill theold home. Three talking cats seem to be helpingand protecting Olive, but as she begins to put morepuzzle pieces together, she realizes that she maybe in some danger and the eccentric cats are not tobe trusted.SLJ (October 7, 2010).
It’s Time to Defend Your Castle (aka Classroom)• Only the best knights will represent their castle during the Battle of the Books• Read as many of the Battle Books as you can by this spring• Check out only one Battle book at a time.
Battle of the Books Castle• Read 5 books to enter the Battle of the Books castle (get your name on the library Battle bulletin board).
A Page is the First Step Toward Knighthood• Read 10 Battle books, pass the RC tests and you will live in the castle as a Page! Your knight will be moved on our jousting field (Battle of the Books bulletin board) in the hallway.
A Page becomes a Squire• Read a total of 15 Battle books and you will be promoted to Squire. You’re almost there. Keep reading – only 3 more books to go!
Sound the Trumpets! • Read all 18 Battle books and pass the RC tests and you will be dubbed - you are now officially a knight!