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School Library System - WSWHE BOCES: Battle of the Books

Information and Resources for School Librarians

Battle of the Books


March 12, 2018 (Snow Date March 13, 2018)

Skidmore College Campus (Palamountain Hall)

Books to Read by Grade - 2018



The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

The Ghost of Fossil Glen by Cynthia DeFelice

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

*Phineas L. MacGuire ... Erupts! by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss

River of Dreams by Hudson Talbott



The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

*El Deafo by Cece Bell

Frindle by Andrew Clements

A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la Peña

The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness

Those Rebels, John & Tom by Barbara Kerley

Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka



The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman

*Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin

My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

Dinosaur Mountain by Deborah Kogan Ray

The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

Elephant Run by Roland Smith

Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh



Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America by Jim Murphy

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

The Legend of Bass Reeves by Gary Paulsen

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

*I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai (with Patricia McCormick)

*New Books for 2018

General Information


Organized by our local librarians to:

* Select 10 books per grade level to make this manageable and realistic - see Lists in left column
* Add 1 new title per grade each year (remove 1 title)
* Align with CCSS Curriculum
* Align with new NYS recommended Lexile levels
* Include non-fiction as well as fiction material (at the correct Lexile targeted range by NYS)

Librarians and teachers are provided bookmarks with the book titles. Contact SLS to get sets of printed bookmarks, or click the "Resources" tab at the left to download your own.

Here's an overview:

If there are more than 10 students per grade, it is up to the school to run "elimination" battles

  • Librarians can serve as the contact person, but the BOTB could be run by a teacher, parent or other adult.
  • We recommend "scrimmages" along the way at your school to decide who will best represent your district.
  • Your library will be the teams' "training camp" or "home base".
  • The teams will be:
    • Third Grade
    • Fourth Grade
    • Fifth Grade
    • Sixth Grade
  • Questions will be recall and recognition.
    • A complete set of rules can be found in the column on the left.
    • The questions will be based on 10 books: five fiction and five non-fiction. The books have been carefully chosen by this, and previous, committees. We have chosen half non-fiction to support the emphasis of building knowledge and reading texts carefully for comprehension and factual learning. 
    • There will be trophies and banners awarded to the winning schools for 1st and 2nd Place at each grade level. 3rd and 4th Place will receive banners.
    • Trophies and banners will be passed from one year to the next to the winning school.

Pictures from BOTB 2018

New Books for 2018