Elementary Battle of the Books Synopses 2016-2017


Elementary Battle of the Books Synopses 1617

Big Game – Stuart Gibbs
Someone is trying to hunt FunJungle's Asian greater one-horned rhinoceros, and twelve-year-old Teddy Fitzroy is on the case.

Chasing Freedom – Nikki Grimes
In this imaginative biographical story, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sit down over a cup of tea in 1904 to reminisce about their struggles and triumphs in the service of freedom and women's rights.

Chasing Secrets – Gennifer Choldenko
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.

Circus Mirandus – Cassie Beasley
When he realizes that his grandfather's stories of an enchanted circus are true, Micah Tuttle sets out to find the mysterious Circus Mirandus--and to use its magic to save his grandfather's life.

Crenshaw – Katherine Applegate
This story is about a homeless boy and his imaginary friend that proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

The Curious World Of Calpurnia Tate – Jacqueline Kelly
In rural Texas in 1900, when a storm blows change into town in the form of a visiting veterinarian, twelve-year-old Callie discovers a life and a vocation she desperately wants. But with societal expectations as they are, she will need all her wits and courage to realize her dreams.

Dear Hank Williams – Kimberly Willis Holt
In Rippling Creek, Louisiana, in 1948, eleven-year-old Tate writes letters to her favorite country singer, sharing her dreams of becoming a singer and revealing that her mother is in prison.

The Detective’s Assistant – Kate Hannigan
In 1859, eleven-year-old Nell goes to live with her aunt, Kate Warne, the first female detective for Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency. Nell helps her aunt solve cases, including a mystery surrounding Abraham Lincoln, and the mystery of what happened to Nell’s own father.

Finding Fortune – Delia Ray
Angry with her mother, twelve-year-old runaway Ren finds an unusual boarding house in a nearby ghost town, Fortune, where she meets some interesting people and learns of a forgotten treasure from when the town was famous for buttons made of Mississippi River shells.

Flashback Four: The Lincoln Project – Dan Gutman
Miss Z, a mysterious billionaire and a collector of rare photographs, is sending her four recruits back in time on a mission to capture, for the first time, one of the most important moments in American history—Abraham Lincoln giving his famous Gettysburg address.
Full Cicada Moon – Marilyn Hilton
In 1969 twelve-year-old Mimi and her family move to an all-white town in Vermont, where Mimi's mixed-race background and interest in "boyish" topics like astronomy make her feel like an outsider.

Fuzzy Mud – Louis Sachar
Two middle-grade kids take a shortcut home from school and discover what looks like fuzzy mud but is actually a substance with the potential to wreak havoc on the entire world.

The Genius Files: License To Thrill – Dan Gutman
Tween twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald have finally reached the last leg of their wacky and dangerous.

Gone Crazy In Alabama – Rita Williams-Garcia
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half-sister, Miss Trotter. The two half-sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

A Handful Of Stars – Cynthia Lord
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather--but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

The Hero Two Doors Down – Sharon Robinson
Eight-year-old Steve Satlow is thrilled when Jackie Robinson moves into his Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn in 1948, although many of his neighbors are not, and when Steve actually meets his hero he is even more excited--and worried that a misunderstanding over a Christmas tree could damage his new friendship.

Hit & Miss – Derek Jeter
Jeter presents a fictionalized story from his own childhood.


How To Speak Dolphin – Ginny Rorby
Since her mother died, twelve-year-old Lily has struggled to care for her severely autistic half-brother, Adam, in their Miami home, but she is frustrated and angry because her oncologist step-father, Don, expects her to devote her time to Adam, and is unwilling to admit that Adam needs professional help-- but when Adam bonds with a young dolphin with cancer Lily is confronted with another dilemma: her f family or the dolphin’s freedom.

Jacky Ha Ha – James Patterson
Twelve-year-old Jacky "Ha-Ha" Hart is a class clown with a penchant for pranking--and when she's required to act in the school play to appease her frustrated teachers, she must conquer her stutter.

Maybe A Fox – Kathi Appelt
An otherworldly fox is born to help eleven-year-old Jules, who is grieving over the death of her sister.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics – Chris Grabenstein
Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever Library Olympics...but someone is trying to censor what the kids are reading.

Night On Fire – Ronald Kidd
When thirteen-year-old Billie Sims learns that the Freedom Riders, a civil rights group protesting segregation on buses in the summer of 1961, will be traveling through Anniston, Alabama, she thinks change could be coming to her stubborn town. But what starts as angry grumbles soon turns to brutality, and Billie is forced to reconsider her own views.

The Odds Of Getting Even – Sheila Turnage
Desperado Detectives--aka Mo Lo Beau and her best friend Dale, along with newly-appointed intern, Harm Crenshaw--must take on a new case when Dale's daddy goes on the lam just before his trial is about to start.

Paper Wishes – Lois Sepahban
Near the start of World War II, young Manami, her parents, and Grandfather are evacuated from their home and sent to Manzanar, an ugly, dreary internment camp in the desert for Japanese-American citizens.

Pax – Sara Pennypacker
After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back.

Raymie Nightingale – Kate DiCamillo
Raymie Clark has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home.

Ruby Lee & Me – Shannon Hitchcock
When a formerly segregated North Carolina town hires its first African-American teacher in 1969, two girls--one black, one white--confront the prejudice that challenges their friendship.

Saving Mr. Terupt – Rob Buyea
The kids from Mr. Terupt’s fifth- and sixth-grade classes are entering their first year of junior high school. There's a lot to be excited about, but there are new challenges, too. Everyone is missing Mr. Terupt. When a fight threatens to break up the group forever, they think their favorite teacher is the only one who can help them. But the kids soon find out that it’s Mr. Terupt who needs saving.

Saving Wonder – Mary Knight
Curley Hines has lost his father, mother, and brother to coal mining, and now he lives with his grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Wonder Gap, Kentucky--but when the mining company prepares to destroy their mountain he must use the words his grandfather has taught him to save Red Hawk Mountain, even if it means losing the life he loves.

The Seventh Most Important Thing – Shelley Pearsall
In 1963, thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man's head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects.

Slacker – Gordon Korman
When eighth-grader Cameron Boxer creates the Positive Action Group at school he intends it as a diversion to fool his parents, teachers, and sister into letting him continue to concentrate on his video-gaming--but before he knows it other kids are taking it seriously, and soon he finds himself president of the P.A.G., and involved in community service, so the boy who never cared about anything is now the center of everything, whether he likes it or not.

Some Kind Of Courage – Dan Gemeinhart
In 1890 Washington the only family Joseph Johnson has left is his half-wild Indian pony, Sarah, so when she is sold by a man who has no right to do so, he sets out to get her back--and he plans to let nothing stop him in his quest.

Spaced Out – Stuart Gibbs
In 2041 twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is a resident of Moon Base Alpha, and at the moment he is faced with a number of problems: coping with the nasty Sjoberg twins, finding out how the commander of the base has managed to disappear from a facility no bigger than a soccer field, and dealing with the alien Zan who communicates with him telepathically from afar--and who is hiding a secret which may threaten the whole Earth.

Sweet Home Alaska – Carole Estby Dagg
The Johnson family lives in a failed Wisconsin mill town, surviving on the last remnants of garden produce. Terpsichore (named for the classical Greek muse of dance) hears about the government-sponsored program to move families to Alaska from her best friend, Eileen Reilly, and immediately thinks of her favorite books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Mr. Johnson is too proud to accept help from Uncle Sam—or his own wealthy, elegant mother-in-law—but Terpsichore submits her family’s application anyway. Off the family goes, and Terpsichore takes to her new pioneer life immediately, finding new friends, establishing a lending library, and earning enough money for a new piano so her mother will choose to stay.

The Thing About Jellyfish – Ali Benjamin
Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.

Tru & Nelle – Greg Neri
In their small town of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1930, misfits Tru and Nelle strike up a friendship and find a mystery to solve when someone breaks into the drugstore and steals some candy and a fancy brooch.

Until I Find Julian – Patricia Reilly Giff
Mateo's big brother Julian works in the United States. When the family doesn't hear from Julian for a few weeks, Mateo sneaks out and journeys north to find him, crossing the border with the help of a new friend, Angel.

Walt Disney Drawn From Imagination – Bill Scollon
A portrait of the iconic "man behind the mouse" traces his humble early years on a Missouri farm, World War I service, and early ambitions that prompted the creations of Mickey Mouse and other major characters and films.

The Way Home Looks Now – Wendy Wan-Long Shang
In 1972, after his older brother is killed in a car crash, Peter Lee's mother is paralyzed by grief and his traditional Chinese father seems emotionally frozen--but Peter hopes that if he joins a Little League team in Pittsburgh he can reawaken the passion for baseball that all the members of his family used to share and bring them back to life.

The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
Roz the robot discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island with no memory of where she is from or why she is there, and her only hope of survival is to try to learn about her new environment from the island's hostile inhabitants.