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Battle of the Books


All fifth graders will be participating in this year’s battle.

The final competition will be against North Caldwell.

Good Luck to all Essex Fells Fifth Graders!


Each team must read all 10 books, however not all members need to read the same books.  Teams need to make sure that every book is read by at least one member of the team!


Here is an overview of this year’s books.


Tarot Says Beware by Betsy Byars


Herculeah Jones must solve the mystery of who killed the fortuneteller, Madame Rosa.  Someone else may know who did it and will try to stop Herculeah from solving the mystery.


 Holes by Louis Sachar


Stanley Yelnats and his family have been cursed ever since his great-great grandfather stole pigs.  Stanley is sent to “camp”, a boys detention center, where he is forced to dig holes everyday.  He sets out to discover the truth behind the holes. 


Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare


This is an exciting story about a boy, Matt, who learns to find himself in the wilderness with the help of a new friend, Attean.  Attean, a member of the Beaver Clan, teaches Matt the way of the land. 


The Door in the Lake by Nancy Butts


 Joseph Finney disappeared from a camping trip and mysteriously reappeared two years later.  Not only does he not look any older than the day he disappeared, but he can't remember anything about what has happened to him.  


The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain


When an odd man comes to town he promises to grant wishes.  Polly, Rowena and Sam all ask for something they desire but the wishes do not come without consequences. 


A Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace


A realistic fiction story about a boy named Ricky who is afraid of dogs because he was bitten by one as a young child.  When a stray dog comes to the family farm Ricky must overcome his fears to help the dog survive. 


The Friendship by Mildred D. Taylor


1933 Mississippi is filled with segregation and racism.  Two friends, one African American and one white, are forced to fight because others witnessed a friendly exchange between them.  This story is told through the eyes of the children who witnessed the event. 


 The Gold Cadillac by Mildred D. Taylor


When Lois and Wilma’s father gets a new gold Cadillac the girls are proud of the new car.  Their happiness turns to fear as they drive through 1933 Mississippi and people begin to treat them badly because of the color of their skin. 


Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan 


A female orphan, Charley Parkhurst finds her love when she works in a stable.  After many tragic events in her life she hides her identity and lives her life as a man to follow her dreams of driving a stagecoach and eventually owning a farm.  This is during a time in history where women where not allowed to hold the type of jobs men were. 


Finding Buck McHenry by Alfred Slote


Jason is an ok baseball player, but loves to collect baseball cards.  He is convinced that the janitor at school is Buck McHenry a famous African American pitcher.  Jason gets the janitor to admit he is McHenry, but as the story unravels is that really the truth?