Battle of the Books contest begins for junior, senior highs

Battlers of literature once again commence the nation-wide reading tournament, Battle Of The Books! The CFHS Battle Of The Books team has already met twice this year, but it is not too late to join the growing Battle Of The Books community.

Battle Of The Books is an annual competition for junior high and high school students. In the competition, students read a selection of novels from a variety of genres from modern times, and then test their knowledge of the books in a set of constructed trials from many different schools. This year, there are 28 books in the Battle Of The Books catalogue.


  • Black Sun by Rebbeca Roanhorse
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  • Frankly In Love by David Yoon
  • Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
  • The Grace Year by Kim Ligget
  • A Heart In A Body In A World by Deb Caletti
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jerret J. Krosoczka
  • The House In The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune
  • I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson
  • If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley
  • The Impossible First: From Fire To Ice Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O’Brady
  • Kent State: Four Dead In Ohio by Derf Backderf
  • The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony
  • Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Plain Bad Heroines by Emily D. Danforth & Sara Lautman
  • Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
  • Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
  • The Rise And Fall Of Charles Lindbergh by Candance Fleming
  • Solutions And Other Problems by Allie Brosh
  • The Went Left by Monica Hesse
  • This Is My Brain In Love by I. W. Gregorio
  • Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus
  • We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  • We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
  • Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • With Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo


“I love it every year when the new list is revealed,” Abby Hendrickson, a media specialist at the high school and the leader of the Battle Of The Books team, said. “There is such a great combination of diverse and high interest books.  So many genres are represented: mystery, horror, science fiction, historical fiction, sports fiction, romance, realistic fiction, fantasy, memoir, a graphic novel, a novel written in verse … there is something for everyone. All of the Iowa High School Teen Choice Awards are on the reading list as well as many of the young adult award winners from 2020.  Also, I am pleased to see an array of diverse characters and authors represented on the reading list.” 

The powerful diversity within the selection from year to year is really impactful to readers, even adult readers like Hendrickson. “I’m really excited about the nonfiction graphic novel Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio this year.  This book is an account of the May 4, 1970, killing of four unarmed Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War who were killed by the Ohio National Guardsmen.”

Students, however, due to the busy-nature of school, are usually unable to read for enjoyment, and not for an English assignment. On the matter, Hendrickson said, “I think that reading for pleasure is so important, especially in high school when students really tend to take a break or stop pleasure reading altogether due to other interests and time commitments.”

Battle Of The Books offers a way for students to read for pleasure and be involved in a strong community of those with the common interest of reading. “For me the best part is spending time with a community of readers and working toward a common goal,” Hendrickson said.

The impact and the community of the Battle Of The Books team is what really sticks out to many readers of the literature-enthusiast community at the high school and will continue to inspire readers annually. If interested in the team, contact Hendrickson via email or come Tuesdays, second shift during Power Hour in Room 160. Also, check out Battle Of The Books titles beforehand in the library. Just ask the librarian where the designated Battle Of The Books shelf is, or find the shelf labeled “Battle Of The Books” and email Abby Hendrickson that you checked out that novel.

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