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Battle of the Books

Mock Battles Round Up

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Since last week’s call for Mock Battle Stories, we’ve received the following fantastic entries.  Thank you so much to all who shared the excitement that is Battle of the Kids’ Books with your communities and with us back in the Command Center.

Please use this GOOGLE FORM to submit your Mock BoB Story.

At our (Monica and Roxanne’s) school, the rest of the Children’s Literature Circle teachers picked the following winners from the second half of the first round:

Round 1, Match 5: Most Dangerous

The author took all the larger than life figures and put them in human terms. it is written clearly and flows as a story, which kept me involved.

Round 1, Match 6: My Seneca Village 

Poetry never gets enough love — so at this match of two equally wonderful books, I picked My Seneca Village.

Round 1, Match 7: Rhythm Ride

This pairing provided a difficult decision. While Nimona extraordinarily followed its imaginative threads and was an enjoyable read, Rhythm Ride captured my attention in a more inclusive manner. The narrative voice was captivating and immersed me in the world of Motown, allowing me to feel the music and the time period as I read the text and paused at each image.

Round 1, Match 8: Symphony for the City of the Dead

Symphony brings to life (and death) the fascinating back-story to Russian World War II history.  It is beautiful and terrifying and disturbingly relevant in a world that is already forgetting just how horrible Stalin was to his own people.

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Allison Medsger, a Reading Intervention teacher at Solvay Middle School in New York, wrote to us:

BoB bracket

As the books for the BoB were released, my 7th and 8th grade students and I watched closely. After the big reveal, we narrowed the books down to 12 choices that were most accessible and of interest for the students I teach. We eliminated Challenger Deep, I Crawl through It, My Seneca Village, and Symphony for the City of the Dead. The students then ranked their top three choices.

After some careful maneuvering, students were paired with a partner who would be reading the same book. Students have been spending class time practicing strategies of reading, analyzing, and discussing their books with their partners and the whole class. We enlisted the help of teachers and staff members to act as judges in our version of the battle. We were able to get teachers from various disciplines including: art, math, ESL, English, library media specialist, Special Ed, TAs, a literacy coach, and a curriculum coordinator to determine the winners of each round. We are also going to hold our own Undead Poll. We are currently awaiting the results and reasonings of the first round winners. Our brackets were picked randomly and are as follows:

  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler vs. Rhythm Ride
  • Drowned City vs. Goodbye Stranger
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama vs. X: A Novel
  • Echo vs. Most Dangerous
  • The Marvels vs. The Nest
  • Nimona vs. The Hired Girl

8th BoB 7th BoBMany of my students who have been labeled “reluctant” and “struggling” are truly developing a love for YA texts and the power of words because of the Battle format. Some have been rushing into class everyday with bated breath as they wait for the winner to be revealed. We cannot wait to see what our own teachers and staff members decide!

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Donna Cook, a school librarian from Pollok, Texas told us:

We encourage the [high school] kids and teachers to “get into the tournament” with their predictions for each match. They can win prizes for each correct prediction, and the prizes increase in value as they build a streak of correct predictions. Miss one, and they start over with their next correct prediction. (My pictures are only of our HUGE window wall brackets so far. Later, we’ll have prize distributions and Lunch in the Library, etc.)
mm2016 window

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Public Librarian Nina Martin from Plano, Texas wrote, “We put up a display in the passive program area of our teen zone with the brackets and let them vote on their favorite whenever they’re here. We reveal our library’s winner at the end of the contest.”


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Margaux Deutsch and co-workers in herfrom Western Springs, Illinois public library are having a great time with this year’s Battle selections.  She wrote,

We’ve been wanting to do a Battle of the Books with the community for a while now, and when I saw the SLJ battle announcement, I couldn’t stay away. We have a really great group of avid readers on our staff so I challenged my coworkers to choose the books they thought would win. I believe I spun it as “March Madness for the rest of us.” We had a good response and out of the roughly eight people I asked to participate, five of us took on the challenge. We’ve appreciated the fact that we were not only exposed to a great list of books, but that we elected to interact with it in such a great way. We’re thinking next year we’ll be doing it with the community, but for the time being it’s great fun to watch the rivalry and camaraderie between my work buddies!


  1. At the end of Round 1 now I can report that 201 students and teachers made predictions. Of those 201, one student is, so far, the school champion with all 8 matches correct. Amazing. Three students correctly predicted 7 of the 8 matches. Everyone got at least one match right. Of the list of 16 titles every one is in circulation and some are on hold. 209 students and teachers have submitted predictions for Round 2.

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