Archive | 5:50 am

Let the Battles Begin

19 Sep

On Wednesday, I will hold the first of two informational meetings about the 2016-17 OBOB season.


Last year, I learned a to about how organizing Oregon Battle of the Books is different in middle school from elementary school. I learned that different elementary schools do things differently and I need to inform the 6th graders more clearly how we will do it.

I’ve also been reading the books. I’m not quite done, but I’ve read most of them. In case you’re curious here is the list.

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy (2011)  Follows a 14-year-old American girl whose life unexpectedly transforms when she moves to London in 1952 and gets swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.

Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen (2014)  In 1965, a year after Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm, a baby centaur is born. The family, already under scrutiny because Arianne’s six-year-old brother has birth defects, struggles to keep the colt a secret.

Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington (2014) Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy likes to think of herself as a character in a book. Now, as the starts seventh grade, she is a character who has to cope with her agoraphobic mother, a father who is in the hospital with a head injury, and a best friend who is becoming quite a jerk.

Dark Life by Kat Falls (2010) When 15-year-old Ty, who has always lived on the ocean floor, joins Topside girl Gemma in the frontier’s underworld to seek and stop outlaws who threaten his home, they learn that the government may pose an even greater threat.

Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart (2014) Contest-crazed 12-year-old Ben uses his wits and way with words in hopes of winning a prize that will keep his family from being evicted until his mother can pass her final CPA examination.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick (2005) When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, 13-year old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson (2014) Jackson Greene has a reputation as a prankster at Maplewood Middle School. After last disaster, he is trying to go straight. But he has to come out of retirement to make sure Keith Sinclair doesn’t steal the election for school president.

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart (2015) After learning he is sick with cancer for a third time, Mark runs away with his dog, Beau, planning climb Mount Rainier. Only his best friend, Jessie, suspects the truth about what he is doing.

The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner (2009) Thirteen-year-old Atticus “Tick” Higginbottom begins receiving mysterious letters from around world signed only “M.G.” The clue lead him on an adventure, journeying to the perilous 13th Reality.

Masterminds by Gordon Korman (2015) Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. Here everything is beautiful and no child would ever lie. One day, near the edge of the city, he stumbles into a situation that leads him to discover a connection between his town and the greatest criminal masterminds ever known.

The Menagerie by Tui T. & Kari Sutherland (2013) When 12-year-old Logan Wilde wakes up to discover a baby griffin hiding under his bed, he suddenly finds himself thrown into a mystery involving his classmate Zoe Kahn and a magical menagerie right in the middle of his sleepy Wyoming town.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2015)  When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, along with her mother and brother, are trapped in East Germany. Her father and other brother are in the West. After four years apart, Gerta receives a message from her father, urging her to risk her life in an attempt to tunnel to freedom.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (2015) When a burning cross left by the Ku Klux Klan causes panic and fear across the town of Bumblebee, North Carolina in 1932, fifth-grade Stella faces prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Unfriended by Rachel Vail (2014)  When 13-year-old Truly is invited to sit at the Popular Table, she finds herself caught in a web of lies and misunderstandings, complicated by the hyperconnected world of social media.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (2011)  Identical twins Aaron and Alex live in a society that purges 13-year-olds who are creative. As they reach age 13, pair is separated. One is sent to University. The other—supposed set for elimination—lands in a wondrous and magical place.

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi (2014) While practicing for their next baseball game, 13-year-old friends Rabi, Miguel, and Joe discover that the nefarious activities of the local meatpacking plant have caused the cows of Delbe, Iowa to turn into zombies.

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