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Battle of the Books

On the Eve of the 2015 Battle Let’s Hear from Some Texas HS Students!

Donna Cook has been running a Mock BoB at her Plano, Texas, for many years. We here at SLJ have been wowed by what she has done and have therefore featured in several articles. There is “Texas High School Celebrates Battle of the Books” from 2013 and “How Do You BOB?: Librarians, Parents Share the Ways They’re Celebrating Battle of the Kids’ Books” written by our very own Shelley Diaz in 2015.  This year Donna expressed some trepidation in the comments over the new addition of picture books, but then was delighted when her high school students ended up loving them, writing in a comment:

Battle Commanders, we are having THE BEST Battle of the Books at Central High School this year! 147 students, grades 9-12, have read 347 books so far! We are a school of 453 students total. It has HELPED that this year we have those picture books. You might remember that I started with fears about those picture books pulling down our participation. Several students have started with them, had success, and just kept on reading. We expanded the reading and the participation by making a new wrinkle in the tournament: we added the Champions and Finalists from past years as an option to read to qualify. When a student reads one of them, he or she decides which current book the Champion/Finalist is substituting for–kind of like a designated hitter. That gives us more books to circulate. 66 Champions/Finalists have been read. This Wednesday, everyone who has read at least one book in the contest will come to our Undead party and vote with his Chromebook for the book to “rise from the dead.” That is our “contest inside the tournament.” It is going to be educational, of national importance, and fun! Thank YOU for the infrastructure of this tournament!

Now she has provided us with statements from 84 of her students as to what they predict will win our Undead Poll. What a wonderful variety of contenders and reasons!


Enter your first and last name. Choose the ONE book that you predict will “come back from The Dead.” Write a sentence or two about why you think this book deserves a place in the Title Match. Your sentence might be shared with the editors in New York.
Colby L Anna and the Swallow Man The reason i chose this book is because it is entertaining.
alexis h Wet Cement I think this book is really fun and enjoyable to read.
Alexis W Thunder Boy Jr. My reasoning behind my choice is that Thunder Boy Jr was a life lesson written for the readers to learn and supported by each statement perfectly.
allen j When the Sea Turned to Silver the book takes you through the adventure of a girl trying to save her grand mother. filled with adventure and Chinese myths
Alondra M Wet Cement The poems are interesting and catchy
Amanda G The Girl Who Drank the Moon I chose this book because I love the classic fairy tale theme and so does everyone else I know who read it.
Amy Z Ghost I think this book deserves a chance, because students are able to relate to what the main character is going through.
Asa D Thunder Boy Jr. If this one doesn’t win it all, it has to win the undead book. Also a very meaningful book.
aspen m Ghost Because the action is good in it and its very interesting.
Baylor Y Anna and the Swallow Man While I don’t think Anna and the Swallow Man will ‘die’ at all, I think it is the best book in the tournament. The book has many elegant literary devices used, such as foreshadowing and metaphors. However, the way these tools are used is simply over the top; the metaphors often mean something else entirely from what the reader thinks, and the foreshadowing is often misleading, but this misleading is not malicious, rather the kind of misleading that adds to the book’s value.
Blake H Wet Cement Because the book is well written and witty.
Brenden H Ghost Ghost is the most interesting book in the competition and touches on most of the biggest problems as a young teen in the hood .
Brent B Makoons I think Makoons will come back from the dead due to the fact that no one has taken the time to read the book and at first look decide not to read it at all. Makoons tells the story of two native american boys who end up raising a red calf, and learn a life lesson throughout the book.
Brooke G The Girl Who Drank the Moon It seems interesting but may be overlooked at first.
Brooke N Wet Cement Most poem books are not intriguing, but Wet Cement literally makes a picture with the words. It is very simple and definantly a good read.
Brooklyn H Wet Cement Wet Cement was an extraordinary book in it’s own way. It brought a crazy format with wise words that spoke to you on another level of thinking. Wet Cement was by far the best book I’ve read in a while.
Bryce C Ghost I dont believe that “Ghost” will beat “The girl who drank the moon” but i do believe it is a good book.
Carmen A When Green Becomes Tomatoes Because it is a sweet and meaningful book.
Cesar M Ghost It’s a story that I thought I wouldn’t get into, but it exceeded my expectation with it being fun to read.
Charlotte S Wet Cement I chose Wet Cement as the undead book because I feel like it is a a witty book full of intriguing poems and fascinating visuals.
Christian R Freedom Over Me You feel for the slaves and it shows how they cope and what they dream to be
clayton w Ghost I think ghost is the undead book because it good book
Dakota R Thunder Boy Jr. I really enjoyed the simplicity of Thunder Boy Jr. and how the boy finally got through his problem.
Daniel M Thunder Boy Jr. I believe it will come back because it was a very funny book.
DESTINEY S Ghost I believe this book has a good chance of coming back because it was such a enjoyable book.
Dyana B Thunder Boy Jr. I chose this book because it was such a good book and I enjoyed reading it.
Emily A Wet Cement The poems are fun and get you to think.
Emily H Wet Cement It was a good book I enjoyed it
Emily N Some Writer! This book is a great book to read if someone is wanting to become a writer.
Faith B The Girl Who Drank the Moon I picked this because I like fairy tales.
Gunnar D Wet Cement I think that this book should come back because it is a very good poem book.
Hannah L Wet Cement This book is extremely creative and is just amazing in all types of ways. It’s interesting to read and every page brought a smile to my face.
Heather S The Lie Tree i chose this book because it is a very interesting book
Hunter S The Girl Who Drank the Moon I chose ” The Girl Who Drank The Moon ” because I don’t necessarily like fairy-tale style books, but I liked this one.
Jacob B Some Writer! I chose some writer! by Melissa sweet because it has a sort of story telling and lets you take a look into the history of one of the most fantastic writers
Jacob E The Sun Is Also a Star It’s a fantastic tear jerker.
Jake B Ghost I think this book will come back from the dead because I loved the way the story went and it was overall an amazing book. Any person that runs track like myself will like this book.
Janie A March: Book Three It wasn’t nesessarily my first choice, but it has a lot of fans, so I think it will win the undead round.
Jason R Wet Cement It was a unique book
John W When the Sea Turned to Silver This is one of the greatest books that i have ever read.
Jordan A The Girl Who Drank the Moon Its challenger is a short realistic book that makes you feel good but the girl who drank the moon is a wonderful read but a long one compared to ghost.
Jose A When the Sea Turned to Silver I think the book deserves a place in the title match because it has a cool name.
joseph r March: Book Three This book should get the title match because it really happened in history.
Justin B Thunder Boy Jr. It is a very good graphic book and good for kids. It teaches people to try not to be like people and to be themselves and shape their own lives.
Kailey H Wet Cement It is a small book, with big meaning.
Kaitlyn G Ghost Ghost is a thrilling read that really can connect to those who want to reach their full potiential.
Kaylee S Ghost Ghost is a fantastic book about a boys life and the realistic things that happen to him on his journey.
Kim V The Passion of Dolssa Even though this book starts out with a historical explanation, once the story actually starts, it will keep readers wanting to read the book all the way through without stopping until the end.
Kody G Ghost I feel like if the book “Ghost” dies off, it should be brought back because the character in the book has a home life kind of like mine.
Krysta A The Girl Who Drank the Moon I believe this book shall come back because this book was an amazing fantisy book that has an oplithamy of unique characters.
Lauren H Wet Cement I think that “Wet Cement” should be in the Title Match because it has a unique look and form of writing.
Lindsay O Wet Cement The reasoning behind my selection of “Wet Cement” is because it’s an extraordinary learning tool for students. It can be a great example for teachers to use when teaching, and when it comes to inspiration for young people this book will just completely blow their minds.
luke v Ghost this book took me up and down but its competor gives it a serious run for its money
macay m Wet Cement This book is a very interesting and makes reading poems easy and enjoyable
Maci R The Sun Is Also a Star I think “The Sun is Also a Star” deserves to be brought back because it is a classic tale of a twist in fate. And it teaches you that you can’t plan everything.
Mackenzie W The Sun Is Also a Star It was a great book that enticed many emotions.
Maddison H Anna and the Swallow Man It was a great read that I think Is more than deserving for a spot in the Title Match
Madison S Wet Cement This was a fantastic book that I couldn’t put down.
Makala D Ghost I think Ghost will because it shows that family life isn’t always nice and pleasant, it has it’s issues.
Mason M The Sun Is Also a Star This book is a heart filling and adventurous book that keep you on your toes the whole time.
Matthew H March: Book Three, Samurai Rising Its a good book about the civil rights movement which is a important part of American history.
Mikaela S Freedom in Congo Square I chose Freedom in Congo Square because of it’s beautiful, colourful art and because it shows a story hidden behind the history we’re taught in classes.
Nicolas G Wet Cement It is a beautiful book which was very unexpected for me since it seems like a silly children’s book.
Quinton G Wet Cement I thought that it was a really fun book and it made me laugh. I’m sure that many others have read this simple book and thought it was fantastic.
Railey O Wet Cement It deserves to win because it’s easy to read and creative
raven m Wet Cement It was an amazing book.
Rebecah A Ghost This is a book that a lot of us teenager can relate with, and feel closer too.
Sabrina W Makoons I chose Makoons because the book has a great story line and it is well written.
Sara M Freedom in Congo Square Because it has a good background and nice pictures
Shyann V Thunder Boy Jr. This is an inspiring book to me because when i was little i wanted to change my name a lot.
Skylor H Wet Cement The way they illustrated the story with the words was very creative. Plus, poems are my favorite to read.
Tommy F Ghost I have picked this book from the very beginning.
Tony H Ghost My teacher is reading the book in class and it is a very good book.
Tristin W When Green Becomes Tomatoes I think that its a really good book.
Tryston L Ghost Ghost is about a boy and his father is in jail he also has problems and joins the track team and his coach helps him cope with them.
Tyler H. Wet Cement I loved the layout of Wet Cement and how each poem was designed to reflect its subject.
Wanda L Anna and the Swallow Man This book is an insight to the Nazi “blitzkrieg” invasion of Poland as ‘seen’ in the eyes of a seven year old girl
Yamileth M Thunder Boy Jr. It was a heart-warming book
Yasmine W When the Sea Turned to Silver i really loved this book even tho it was sad
Zach R Anna and the Swallow Man I chose this book because there is nothing else like it.


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