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Our 6th grade class is getting ready to start the Battle of the Books! Check out the powerpoint created by Jazmin, co-coordinator, for an overview of all the books for this year! Check back soon to meet our teams.
My reading life kicked it up several notches after I 'met' Donalyn Miller and The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child last spring! After reading this book, I knew that there were other people as crazy about books as I was and I felt as though I had met a truly kindred spirt. Her 2nd book, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits was just as good and I devoured it in 2 days.
I have recently found out she is working on another book and I eagerly await its release!
Barbara Wright’s Crow is a very important historical fiction novel that shares a story we all need to read. Set in Wilmington, North Carolina at the end of the 19th century, White brings to light a story that is not part of mainstream history classes; the Wilmington Massacre of 1898. During the era known as Reconstruction, African Americans had an opportunity to rise to powers of position and prestige in some parts of the country. This rise was not popular with all groups of people and resulted in widespread violence.
Crow grabs the reader from the beginning and through her writing, Barbara Wright brings us back to life in 1898 through the 12-year-old eyes of Moses Thomas. Moses is the son of a newspaper reporter for the "Wilmington Daily Record, the only Negro daily in the South." As with every great plot, the protagonist experiences situations that change how he sees the world. Moses starts as a naive and hopeful boy, with a father who shelters him the best he knows how from the harshness that exists in Wilmington. By the end of the story, both Moses and his father are faced with a harsh truth that changes life for not only their family, but the entire city.
"I raised you in the belief that what it took to succeed in life was the same thing that it too to be a good man: honesty and hard work, courage and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism. But we're up against something I don't understand and don't know how to adapt to. I've sheltered you from it, and in the process have made you more vulnerable."
"The intractability of hate," he said. (p. 203)
For Further Research and Reading
The History of the Carolina Twins: "Told in Their Own Peculiar Way" by "One of Them":
This 2014 Nutmeg Nominee is a must read. Full of action, adventure, strong characters, and a little touch of myth, The Scorpio Races will catch the attention of readers ages 11 and older.
The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Puck and Sean and their journey toward the annual Scorpio Races held in November each year on the island of Thisby. Join them on their adventure as they discover themselves and each other.
Puck Connolly is a high-spirited and likable protagonist who the reader will absolutely want to succeed. Sean Kendrick is a time-hardened teenager who still fights the demons from his past--the fearsome capaill uisce, the carnivorous water horses that took the life of his father when Sean was 10.
This is the first year I have been aware of the School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books! I am excited to see the brackets for 2014. I have read a few books from this list, so it looks like my next reading challenge will involve some of the titles below. To learn more, go to the Battle of the Books homepage.
Have you read any of these books? Share your thoughts!! According to the Battle of the Books homepage, "Now, predictions can start – which eight will advance to Round 2? The commenter who predicts all eight (or the most) correctly will receive a small book-related prize." SLJ
Bringing Battle of the Books to our Students
Click here to read a post from SLJ discussing how teachers can implement BoB i their classrooms.
I am a middle school teacher librarian and former classroom teacher. I have a passion for all things books and try to match my readers with high quality literature in every possible situation.