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Oregon Battle of the Books, 2013-2014 (3rd-5th)

July 15th, 2013 · No Comments · Book Geek, Education, Events & Readings, Libraries, Student Work

We’ve started reading next year’s OBOB selections at our house.

Here are the titles (wowza, 16 of them!) for grades 3 through 5 (ORCA is short for Oregon Reader’s Choice Award; BCCCA is short for Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award):

“Abraham Lincoln” by Mary Pope Osborne, 2011 (Cannot go wrong with MPO.)

“Birchbark House” by Louise Erdrich, 1999 (I’m not crazy about Erdrich, but she does have her fans.)

“Clementine” by Sara Pennypacker, 2008 (I haven’t read this one yet, but one of my youngest students this spring loved the Clementine series, and got all of her friends hooked on Clementine, too. Lots of fun, seeing that happen.) (Updated on 7/19 to add: Sweet book and wicked funny, too, a la Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, for the younger crew. Little girl hero who doesn’t understand why people keep getting so aggravated with her. “What?”)

“Dear Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary, 1983 (I’ve read this before, along with “Strider,” the sequel. Such good books. And different from the rest of Cleary’s writing. I love all of her work and have since… well. Since I first learned to read and fell in love with my best friend forever, “Ellen Tebbitts.” That’s my middle name! It was meant to be! Also, did you know that it was her second book, after “Henry Huggins”? #librarianfunfacts Cleary always has written such strong characters for the boys as well as the girls. With “Henshaw,” she just nailed it. Wonderful, touching, funny and concise book, and it won the Newbery Award, ta-da!)

“Eleven” by Patricia Reilly Giff, 2008

“Gregor the Overlander” by Suzanne Collins, 2003 (aka, the lady who wrote “The Hunger Games” series)

“Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhha Lai, 2011 (2014 ORCA) (Just finished this one earlier this afternoon. Oh. Man. What a beautiful read. And it’s written in free verse (poetry), so it is very easy to get into. Perfect for readers who may have a harder time with a long or longish chapter book. It’s Lai’s memoir of leaving Vietnam as a child, after the fall of Saigon, but she wrote it as fiction. Why? She is one of nine children, that’s why. In an author interview in the back of the book, she says “Each sibling would have sent ‘corrections,’ so I took the quieter way out.” Love that.)

“Into the Firestorm” by Deborah Hopkinson, 2006.

“Kenny & the Dragon” by Tony DiTerlizzi, 2012 (Spiderwick Chronicles author. I’ve never had a chance to read this one because it is always checked out.)

“Marty McGuire” by Kate Messner, 2011 (2014 BCCCA)

“Pie” by Sarah Weeks, 2011 (2014 ORCA)

“The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo, 2004 (Read this one a few years ago — so good. I enjoy all of DiCamillo’s books. And the movie is, of course, a delight.)

“Umbrella Summer” by Lisa Graff, 2011

“Waiting for the Magic” by Patricia MacLachlan, 2011 (2014 BCCCA)

“Who was Neil Armstrong?” by Roberta Edwards, 2008 (Another hit with the boys, especially when their teachers assign the often-dreaded “biography assignment.”)

“Young Fredle” by Cynthia Voigt, 2011 (2014 ORCA)

So. Here is my secret evil plan: I will add blurbs about these as we read them, what say? I will also add links for the middle school and high school lists, along with reviews. Yes? Yes! I don’t know where I’ll be working next year, so this is giving me something to do while that falls into place. 🙂

Happy reading, happy OBOB and ORCA and BCCCA, too! Bon appetit.

— Ms. Nancy