Annotated List of 2013-14 Battle of the Books Titles
Cooney. The Face on the Milk Carton
No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as Janie Johnson glanced at the face of the ordinary little girl with her hair in tight pigtails, wearing a dress with a narrow white collar—a three-year-old who had been kidnapped twelve years before from a shopping mall in New Jersey—she felt overcome with shock. She recognized that little girl—it was she. How could it possibly be true? Janie can't believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, but as she begins to piece things together, nothing makes sense. Something is terribly wrong. Are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson really her parents? Who is Janie Johnson, and what really happened?
DuPrau. City of Ember
A captivating, bestselling dystopian story about a doomed city and the two children determined to escape it.
Freedman. Lincoln: A Photobiography
A description of the boyhood, marriage, and young professional life of Abraham Lincoln includes his presidential years and also reflects on the latest scholarly thoughts about our Civil War president.
Kadohata. Kira-Kira. (pronounced kee ra kee ra) glittering; shining. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. When Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, Katie must find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future.
Kessler. Tail of Emily Windsnap.
A young girl learns she’s half mermaid and plunges into a scheme to reunite with her father in this entrancing, satisfying tale that beckons readers far below the waves. For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery — about her own identity, the mysterious father she’s never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water’s surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident — an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat along with aspirations of leading his team all the way to the Little League World Series. But his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day-to-day life. Newly orphaned after his father led the family’s escape from Cuba, Michael’s only family is his seventeen-yearold brother Carlos. If Social Services hears of their situation, they will be separated in the foster-care system—or worse, sent back to Cuba. Together, the boys carry on alone, dodging bills and anyone who asks too many questions. But then someone wonders how a twelve-year-old boy could possibly throw with as much power as Michael Arroyo throws. With no way to prove his age, no birth certificate, and no parent to fight for his cause, Michael’s secret world is blown wide open.
Mikaelsen. Touching Spirit Bear.
Will the attack of the Spirit Bear destroy Cole's life or save his soul? Cole Matthews has been fighting, stealing, and raising hell for years. So his punishment for beating Peter Driscal senseless is harsh. Given a choice between prison and Native American Circle Justice, Cole chooses Circle Justice: He'll spend one year in complete isolation on a remote Alaskan island. In the first days of his banishment, Cole is mauled by a mysterious white bear and nearly dies. Now there's no one left to save Cole, but Cole himself.
O’Dell. Black Star, Bright Dawn.
A classic novel, a young Inuit girl encounters frightening obstacles when she takes her father's place in the Iditarod, the annual 1,172-mile dogsled race in Alaska.
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstreamschool. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Paterson. Bridge to Terabithia
Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses to the boys' side and outruns everyone. That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where they reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. Then a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him.
Paver. Wolf Brother.
The epic journey of boy and wolf begin 6,000 years ago. Evil stalks the land. According to legend, only Torak (12) & his wolf-cub companion can defeat it. Their journey together takes them through deep forests, across giant glaciers, & unimaginable dangers. Torak and Wolf are terrified. But if they do not battle to save their world, who will?
Riordan. Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief.
After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.
Moon shadow is eight years old when he sails from China to join his father, Windrider, who lives in San Francisco and makes his living doing laundry. Father and son have never met. But Moon Shadow grows to love and respect his father and to believe in his wonderful dream. Moon Shadow's endures the mockery of the other Chinese, the poverty, the separation from his wife and country even’ the great earthquake' to make his dad’s dream come true.