Battle of the Books

  • Battle of the Books is a reading program that all middle schools in Stafford participate in.  In late winter, teams from each school gather to answer questions about the books on that year's list.  The competition involves several rounds of questions, a semi-final round, and then a championship round involving the two teams with the most points from earlier rounds.  The winning team receives a trophy and a banner to hang in their building until the following year.

    At HH Poole, preparations for the Battle of the Books competition begins in the fall when students are introduced to the books and weekly lunchtime meetings begin.  After a few weeks of reading and discussion, students begin answering practice questions, and based on their ability to answer questions correctly, the number of books read, and their attendance at meetings, a team of 12 students is chosen to represent our school at the county-wide competition.

    Here are the books for 2020-2021:



    If you're interested in joining the Battle of the Books team and reading the books, fill out this form and Miss Raspen will be in touch soon!

    We meet every Monday via Google Meet at 11 AM.  Use the code pmbattle2021 to join us.




    1. Airborn--FANTASY: Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.


    2.  Ambrose Deception--ADVENTURE: Three Chicago students, Melissa, Wilf, and Bondi, are unlikely participants in a competition for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, unaware that there is much more at stake.


    3. Blackthorn Key--HISTORICAL and PARANORMAL FICTION: n 1665 London, fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend Tom try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.


    4. Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam--HISTORICAL FICTION: A young soldier in Vietnam bonds with his bomb-sniffing dog.


    5. A Curse So Dark and Lonely--FANTASY: Eighteen for the three hundred twenty-seventh time, Prince Rhen despairs of breaking the curse that turns him into a beast at the end of each day until feisty Harper enters his life.


    6. Everlost--FANTASY: When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where, although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free.


    7. False Prince--FANTASY: In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king's long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.


    8. Fever, 1793--HISTORICAL FICTION: In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.


    9. Ghost--REALISTIC FICTION: Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential.


    10. House Arrest--REALISTIC FICTION (Novel in verse): Timothy, sentenced to house arrest for stealing, keeps a journal into which he documents his fears and frustrations.


    11. I am Malala--BIOGRAPHY: Yousafzai's describes her fight for education for girls under Taliban rule, the support she received from her parents to pursue an education, and how the Taliban retaliated against her by trying to kill her.


    12. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus--REALISTIC FICTION: Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again. Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It's hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven's about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.


    13. The London Eye Mystery--MYSTERY: When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.


    14. Mockingbird--REALISTIC FICTION: Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.


    15. Waiting for Normal--REALISTIC FICTION: Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.



Battle of the Books 2020