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Battle of the Books

2013 Contenders Speak – Day 1


Pick me up and look at my cover. Read a bit of me. What am I? An historical fiction? An adventure? A mystery? All wrong! I am something that none of the other books are: a history. That’s right, I belong up there on the shelf among all the other great history textbooks. I am the best kind of textbook: very epic, awesome, courageous, cool, fun-loving, and modest. You can’t forget modest. (So, pick me?)

— mb, 6th grade

CODE NAME VERITYcodenameicon

To whomever may read this, I reveal the cruelty of The Battle Commander in putting me in this war…who will most likely read these words. But please, God, let Maddie somehow find this. I have three weeks to complete my story to the most minute detail and win the Battle of the Kids Books. My work will end up being beautifully poetic yet very direct, and utterly engrossing. It will contain shades of horror and love, so wonderfully intertwined that it’s hard to distinguish your emotion, hard to know a thing at all.

— rgn, 8th grade


I am a grim reflection of human and animal mortality, survival, and love. Relating the dangers of poverty and war in developing countries, I enlighten readers about the horrors of life and survival more emotionally than most non-fiction books. In doing so, I tell a beautiful, personal story of Sophie and her family, which includes, of all things, cute, endangered bonobos!  Don’t let me become Endangered! (Or even Extinct!)


— rgn, 8th grade


I’m about 2 teenagers diagnosed with cancer: one of them was a vegetarian who almost died when she was 13.

I teach people that even if you have cancer you can live a normal life, and that you have the same emotions and feelings.

I’m the underdog, not winning any major awards this year, which almost guarantees that I will win. I also feel like I’ll win because of, you know, those “Cancer Perks.” Can’t you give the dying teenagers a chance at some happiness before they pass on to the next life??

*big and sad eyes* I mean *sniffle* they just want a chance at happiness and life. *tears start to flow down face* Is that so hard to ask?? *starts to bawl?* Please can I just win????? I love life, have some pity on me. LET ME WIN!

— cw, 6th grade


  1. Ha – I love this! Not only are these 4 way high up on my favorites list, but they’re all just so cleverly done. I’ve got to hand it to RGN for the Code Name Verity blurb – you would make Julie proud!

  2. BRILLIANT! I laughed and laughed and read bits aloud to my co-workers! These kids may be the best commentators yet! (No offense to our regular commentators — but I love this idea of speaking for the books. And you kids pulled it off beautifully.)

  3. Steffaney Smith says:

    Very clever; love the kids speaking for the books! I want to hear from “Ivan” and “Three Times Lucky.”

  4. This is brilliant. And rgn-you are my new favorite 8th grader. (Don’t tell my students.)

  5. Just undid my undead vote because how can I NOT vote for Fault in our Stars?? LOL! cw, you had me at “big and sad eyes”

  6. cw, you tug at my heartstrings. Too bad I read this too late to vote!

  7. Battle Commander Battle Commander says:

    Karen, the Undead Poll should still be open. Did you already vote for another book and cannot change your vote now?


  1. […] is, they assumed the role of one of the actual books, and did a terrific job with it.  (Those are here, here, here, and here.) This is something any teacher or librarian can do! In fact, we hope to […]

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