4th Grade Battle of the Books
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
7:00-8:30 PM, South Kingstown High School Auditorium
Students will read a minimum of 10 books from a list of 20 books in order to qualify.
The annual 4th Grade Battle of the Books is a fun literacy-based event. From September 2017 through mid-April 2018, students read a minimum of 10 from a selection of 23 books. The Battle takes place on a Wednesday evening in April at the SK High School Auditorium. Participating students are divided into teams, and in a series of rounds (usually 4 rounds of 4 teams) are quizzed on details from the books by their school librarians as well as their public librarians. The event is always very exciting! This is an optional activity, but students are encouraged not to miss what many say was a highlight of their 4th grade year.
See details on the event and the books below. And, print out your own bookmark with a list of the books below as well!
The City of Ember
by DuPrau, Jeanne
Ember, a 241-year-old, ruined domed city surrounded by a dark unknown, was built to ensure that humans would continue to exist on Earth, and the instructions for getting out have been lost and forgotten. On Assignment Day, 12-year-olds leave school and receive their lifetime job assignments. Lina Mayfleet becomes a messenger, and her friend Doon Harrow ends up in the Pipeworks beneath the city, where the failing electric generator has been ineffectually patched together. Both Lina and Doon are convinced that their survival means finding a way out of the city, and after Lina discovers pieces of the instructions, she and Doon work together to interpret the fragmented document. Life in this postholocaust city is well limned--the frequent blackouts, the food shortage, the public panic, the search for answers, and the actions of the powerful, who are taking selfish advantage of the situation. Readers will relate to Lina and Doon's resourcefulness and courage in the face of ominous odds.
Guided Reading Level: W
by Applegate, Katherine
Earmuffs for Everyone
by Meghan McCarthy
As a young boy, Chester Greenwood went from having cold ears to becoming a great inventor in this nonfiction picture book from the acclaimed author-illustrator of Pop! and Daredevil.
When your ears are cold, you can wear earmuffs, but that wasn’t true for Chester Greenwood back in 1873. Earmuffs didn’t exist yet! But during yet another long and cold Maine winter, Chester decided to do something about his freezing ears, and he designed the first pair of ear protectors (a.k.a. earmuffs) out of wire, beaver fur, and cloth. He received a patent for his design by the time he was nineteen, and within a decade the Chester Greenwood & Company factory was producing and shipping “Champion Ear Protectors” worldwide!
But that was just the beginning of Chester’s career as a successful businessman and prolific inventor. In this fun and fact-filled picture book you can find out all about his other clever creations. The Smithsonian has declared Chester Greenwood one of America’s most outstanding inventors. And if you’re ever in Maine on December 21, be sure to don a pair of earmuffs and celebrate Chester Greenwood day!
by Bell, Cece
248 pages (comic)
Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become "El Deafo, Listener for All." And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.
(summary from publisher)
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
By: Grabenstein, Chris
Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
In this cross between and Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.
(summary from publisher)
Guided Reading Level: Q
The Fourteenth Goldfish
by: Holm, Jennifer
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer. Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility. Look for EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL in the paperback—including Ellie’s gallery of scientists and other STEM-appropriate features.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
by: Tonatiuh, Duncan
Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.
(summary from the publisher)
Guided Reading Level: L
The Great Treehouse War
by Graff, Lisa
Winnie's last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie’s parents got divorced and decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse between their houses, to divide her time perfectly evenly. It was the day Winnie’s seed of frustration with her parents was planted, a seed that grew until it felt like it was as big as a tree itself.
By the end of fifth grade, Winnie decides that the only way to change things is to barricade herself in her treehouse until her parents come to their senses—and her friends decide to join. It’s kids vs. grown-ups, and no one wants to back down first. But with ten kids in one treehouse, all with their own demands, things get pretty complicated! Even if they are having the most epic slumber party ever.
In the newest novel by beloved National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff, kids turn the tables on their parents, and all the rules are tossed out the window. But does Winnie have what it takes to hold her ground and keep everyone happy?
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
by: Marshall, Joseph
Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy—though you wouldn’t guess it by his name: his father is part white and part Lakota, and his mother is Lakota. When he embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, he learns more and more about his Lakota heritage—in particular, the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota and American history. Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, celebrated author Joseph Marshall III juxtaposes the contemporary story of Jimmy with an insider’s perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse (c. 1840–1877). The book follows the heroic deeds of the Lakota leader who took up arms against the US federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Along with Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse was the last of the Lakota to surrender his people to the US army. Through his grandfather’s tales about the famous warrior, Jimmy learns more about his Lakota heritage and, ultimately, himself.
American Indian Youth Literature Award
by: Baptiste, Tracey
Corinne La Mer claims she isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, and shining yellow eyes follow her to the edge of the trees. They couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they? When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger at the market the very next day, she knows something extraordinary is about to happen. When this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, danger is in the air. Severine plans to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn't know she possessed to stop Severine and to save her island home.
from: the publisher
Guided Reading Level: R
Lost in NYC
by: Spiegelman, Nadja
The sights . . . the sounds . . . the SMELLS! New York's crowded subway system is known for many things, but being easy on a lost kid isn't one of them. When Pablo gets separated from his new schoolmates during his first field trip in New York City, he doesn't know how he'll be able to find them again. Luckily, he has a little knowledge, a new friend, and the surprisingly approachable city itself to guide his way. This story features maps, archival photos, and fascinating facts to help readers explore the subway without ever having to get caught like Pablo in the mob of Times Square. It brings all the bustle and beauty of NYC to young readers around the world.
from the publisher
Guided Reading Level: T
Guided Reading Level: R
by: Creech, Sharon
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn't know what to expect. She's ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer" Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora.
This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.
from the publisher
Guided Reading Level: T
Out of My Mind
by: Draper, Sharon
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of —from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
by: Weeks, Sarah
by: Steptoe, Javaka
Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.
from the publisher
Guided Reading Level: O
Rump: the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
by: Shurtliff, Liesl
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Gidwitz, Adam
Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.
Tricky Vic: the Impossibly True Story of The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower
by Pizzoli, Greg
In the early 1900s, Robert Miller, a.k.a. “Count Victor Lustig,” moved to Paris hoping to be an artist. A con artist, that is. He used his ingenious scams on unsuspecting marks all over the world, from the Czech Republic, to Atlantic ocean liners, and across America. Tricky Vic pulled off his most daring con in 1925, when he managed to "sell" the Eiffel Tower to one of the city’s most successful scrap metal dealers! Six weeks later, he tried to sell the Eiffel Tower all over again. Vic was never caught. For that particular scam, anyway. . . .Award-winner Greg Pizzoli’s humorous and vibrant graphic style of illustration mark a bold approach to picture book biography.
(summary from Amazon.com)
Guided Reading Level: W
What Was Ellis Island?
by DeMuth, Patricia;
From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway to a new life in the United States for millions of immigrants. In later years, the island was deserted, the buildings decaying. Ellis Island was not restored until the 1980s, when Americans from all over the country donated more than $150 million. It opened to the public once again in 1990 as a museum. Learn more about America's history, and perhaps even your own, through the story of one of the most popular landmarks in the country.
from the publisher
Guided Reading Level: P
The Wild Robot
by: Brown, Peter
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants.
Guided Reading Level: R
The Wolves Are Back
by: George, Jean Craighead
In 1995, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park—first time they had been part of the park’s ecosystem for many years. Although George follows one wolf’s growth from pup to adult, the emphasis here is not as much on the wolves and their habits, but on how their presence has changed the ecosystem and returned its natural balance. In just one example, the wolves drove the elk herds to seek refuge higher in the hills, causing the valley grasses to grow taller, allowing for the return of the Vesper sparrow, which uses the grasses for food and nests. George writes about each of the changes caused by the wolves’ return in simple, rhythmic, informative prose. Adding to the book’s appeal are Minor’s finely detailed illustrations, featuring spectacularly rendered animals in the foreground of the bold, western landscapes. Together the words and pictures make for a highly effective and enjoyable explanation of how the presence of one animal can profoundly affect an ecosystem.
Battle of the Books Fact Sheet
The Battle of the Books is a fun, literacy-based event for fourth graders that is co-sponsored by the School Library Media Specialists of the South Kingstown Public elementary schools and the Youth Services Librarians of the South Kingstown Public Library.
Who may participate?
The competition is comprised of several rounds in which a librarian asks a question to each team in turn. Team members confer with each other before answering.
Where and When is the event?
The families of the participants must provide transportation to and from the event and parents/guardians should plan to stay and enjoy this exciting evening.
How does a student qualify to participate in the 2017 SK Battle of the Books?
Who chose the books on the SK Battle of the Books list?
How may a student keep track of his/her progress in reading the books on the list?
Homeschoolers or SK residents attending schools outside of South Kingstown may report on their progress at the Peace Dale Library (the main SK Public Library) where a chart will be available for them.
Where can the students find the books on the list?