Battle of the Books




Working with Mary Koon from Joliet, I have been reading through a stack of possible fifth grade and middle school selections.  There are a lot of good new books out there, but as I look at the ACE standards for genre and literary appreciation, I come time and time again to emphasis on the traditional, and the "tried and true."  Yes, students like the funny, the slightly (or more) provoking or even provocative literature, such as Wimpy Kid or Terrible Two--but they do need a rich background of the good, well-written and well-crafted, thought-provoking as well--and not just in a whole-class, daily setting.   


Keeping both quality and student interest as top priorities, I have selected the following as this year's Battle books:


Animal realism:  Misty of Chincoteague (Henry)


Adventure/survival:  Number the Stars (Lowry) (second quarter read-aloud)


Mystery: The Homework Machine (Gutman) (also contemporary/school)


Historical fiction:  Sign of the Beaver (Speare) (classroom)


Contemporary/school:  The Homework Machine (Gutman)


Nonfiction/biography: Barbed Wire Baseball (Moss) (also sports)


Fantasy: The Book of Three (Alexander) (Third quarter read-aloud)


Science fiction:  /The Forgotten Door (Key) (classroom)


Mythology/legend/folk literature:  The Tale of Desperaux (DiCamillo)


Humor:  Soup and Me (Peck) (also historical fiction)