Battle of the Books
Well Done to all of the students who participated in the 2021 Stella Battle of the Books Competition! These books are still available for check out in the library for everyone who would like to read them!
LWSD Middle School Battle of the Books 2020-2021
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (Graphic Novel): Gene understands stories―comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.
The Truth as Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor(Realistic/Mystery): Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?
Front Desk by Kelly Yang(Realistic): Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen (Realistic): Twelve-year-old Felix's appearance on a television game show reveals that he and his mother have been homeless for a while, but also restores some of his faith in other people.
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (Fantasy): Up until her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala considered herself an ordinary sixthgrader in Parsippany, New Jersey, but then her parents disappear and a drooling rakkhosh demon shows up in her kitchen, and soon she is swept into another dimension, full of magic, winged horses, talking birds (very annoying), and cute princes--and somehow Kiranmala needs to sort it all out, find her parents, and basically save the world.
The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman (Historical Fiction): Twelve-year-old Imani, the only black girl in Hebrew school, is preparing for her bat mitzvah and hoping to find her birthparents when she discovers the history of adoption in her own family through her great-grandma Anna's Holocaust-era diary.
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (Science Fiction): When a long-term attack against her world by the alien Krell escalates, Spensa's dream of becoming a pilot may come true, despite her deceased father being labeled a deserter.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds (Non-fiction:) A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning
Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald (Sports): While thirteen-year-old Teddy fights for his life after a football injury at training camp, his friends and family gather to support him and discuss events leading to his coma. Told through dialogue, text messages, newspaper articles, transcripts, an online forum, and Teddy's inner thoughts.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (Fantasy): After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small space.
Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire John August (Fantasy/Realism): Arlo Finch is a newcomer to Pine Mountain, Colorado, a tiny town of mystery and magic, but he's already attracted the attention of dark and ancient forces. At first he thinks these increasingly strange and frightening occurrences are just part of being in Rangers, the mountain scouting troop where he learns how to harness the wild magic seeping in from the mysterious Long Woods. But he soon...finds himself at the center of a dangerous adventure, where he faces obstacles that test the foundations of the Ranger's Vow: loyalty, bravery, kindness, and truth.
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Non-Fiction/Graphic Novel): Actor, author, and activist George Takei recounts his childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II and the impact the experience had on his later life.