Our Turn: Reading the books
This year our school district participated in Battle of the Books. There were teams at the middle level at JWMS and at our school, NCSS, and there were senior division teams at RHS and NCSS.
Students were given a list of books, 20 at the middle level and 21 at the senior division level, in December. We signed up to participate in teams of three or four students. Each team had to decide who was going to read which books on the list. As a team, you had to read all of the books. We were in the battle of the books at different levels. Jane was in the middle division and Alex was the senior division.
We decided to try and read most of them, even though we didn’t have to. We had until the first week of February before we had a tournament to narrow down our teams at our school, and then during the week of Feb. 13 we battled against the JWMS and RHS teams to pick one team to go to State Competition.
Alex read all of the books except three. Beautiful Creatures, The Help, Jump, The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, The Maze Runner, Shiver, Brain Jack, Room: A Novel, Bruiser, Crossing Stones, Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel, Finnikin of the Rock, Jane, Mindblind, Mockingjay, Ship Breaker, Heist Society, and Stolen. Alex felt that she was changing books every night because she read so fast.
Her favorite book was Maze Runner. It was about these teenage boys that have to escape a giant maze that shifts each day, where horrible monsters, called Grievers, roam. Alex also liked Brainjack. It is about a war beginning when a new technology headset reaches stores across the United States.
Like Alex, Jane read all of the books on her list, except three. She read The Red Pyramid, Moon Over Manifest, Things Not Seen, Alabama Moon, Bridge to Terabithia, A Dogs Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, Bud, not Buddy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth, Framed, Life As We Knew It, The Lost Hero, Mockingbird, Rules, Savvy, Stargirl, Things Not Seen, and Touching Spirit Bear. She felt that it was a cool experience for her.
Jane’s favorite book was Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikalsen. It is about a bully that almost goes to jail and then ends up going before Circle Justice and they send him to a deserted island where he makes peace with himself and the people he hurt. She also liked The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. That book is about a girl who cuts her hair and pretends to be a boy to feed her family. She lives in Afghanistan and her father dies. Women are not supposed to work outside of the home without a veil, and she does what she needs to do to take care of her family. It is a heart warming story that keeps you going. There are two other books in this series, and they are the best books she’s read in a long time.
We wanted to read the books because we felt that it was going to be a good experience for both of us. It pushed us to not only read a large quantity of books, but to also understand what we were reading. As you might conclude, we love to read.