Middle School Battle of the Books Parent Information
Thank you for your interest in the middle school Battle of the Books! Please take a few moments to look at the 2024-2025 book list and complete the questions at the end of the form. These books are selected by the NC School Library Media Association and are used by all participating middle schools across the state. The document linked below includes multiple reviews, if available, for each title:


We respect parental choice in the selection of reading materials for their students.  If you prefer for your student to opt out of reading a specific title, please indicate that using the optional comment box under each book image.

*Please Note: Selection/competition participation of team members may vary from school to school.  The NCSLMA organization limits competition teams to no more than 12 members with only 6 members competing in each round.  Families who choose to “opt out” of specific titles may jeopardize their standing with the competitive team.

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by Scott Reintgen

Follows alchemists Imelda, Adrian, and Pippa as they reach for their dreams of glory riding phoenix horses at The Races, the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire
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The Best at It
by Maulik Pancholy

Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay
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Beyond the Bright Sea
by Lauren Wolk

Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. Her only companions are Osh, the man who rescued her from a tiny skiff as an infant and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their neighbor across the sandbar. But it isn't until the night when a mysterious fire appears across the water that an unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart and an unstoppable chain of events is triggered. Using her bravery and perseverance, Crow must follow clues that not only lead to a personal treasure, but to uncovering her lost identity and, ultimately, understanding what it means to be a family.  
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by Kenneth Oppel

The invasion begins--but not as you'd expect. It begins with rain. Rain that carries seeds. Seeds that sprout--overnight, everywhere. These new plants take over crop fields, twine up houses, and burrow below streets. They bloom--and release toxic pollens. They bloom--and form Venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people. They bloom--everywhere, unstoppable. Or are they? Three kids on a remote island seem immune to the toxic plants. Anaya, Petra, Seth. They each have strange allergies--and yet not to these plants. What's their secret? Can they somehow be the key to beating back this invasion? They'd better figure it out fast, because it's starting to rain again  
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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba & Brian Mealer

African teenager William Kamkwamba explored science books in his village library when he was forced to drop out of school, and was able to change his family's life by creating a windmill to pump water for his family's farm.  
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The Bridge Home
by Padma Venkatraman

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Chennai, India.  
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by Pedro Martin

Pedro Martin's grown up in the U.S. hearing stories about his legendary abuelito, but during a family road trip to Mexico, he connects with his grandfather and learns more about his own Mexican identity in this . . . graphic memoir
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by Amina Luqman-Dawsom

After fleeing the plantation where they were enslaved, siblings Ada and Homer discover the secret community of Freewater, and work with freeborn Sanzi to protect their new home from the encroaching dangers of the outside world.  
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by Jason Reynolds

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  
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A Good Kind of Trouble
by Lisa Moore Ramee

Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she'd also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.) But in junior high, it's like all the rules have changed. Now she's suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she's not black enough. Wait, what? Shay's sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn't think that's for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum. Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn't face her fear, she'll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that's trouble, for real  

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I Must Betray You
by Ruta Sepetys

In a country governed by isolation, fear, and a tyrannical dictator, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer, but he decides to use his position to try to outwit his handler, undermine the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country  
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I Will Always Write Back
by Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda

In this ... dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends--and better people--through their long-distance exchange [as pen-pals ] 
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The Lost Year
by Katherine Marsh

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, thirteen-year-old Matthew discovers a shocking secret about his great-grandmother's past as he learns about her life during the Holodomor famine in Soviet Ukraine.  
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Maybe He Just Likes You
by Barbara Dee

When boys in her class start touching seventh-grader Mila and making her feel uncomfortable, she does not want to tell her friends or mother until she reaches her breaking point.  
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Paper Things
by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

When Ari's mother dies, he must find a way to keep his promises to her, despite being homeless.  
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Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson

A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart  
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The Screaming Staircase
by Jonathan Stroud

Follows three young operatives of a psychic detection agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London  
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Simon Sort of Says
by Erin Bow

Two years after a tragedy saddles him with viral fame, twelve-year-old Simon O'Keeffe and his family move to Grin And Bear It, Nebraska, where the internet and cell phones are banned so astrophysicists can scan the sky for signs of alien life, and where, with the help of two new friends, a puppy, and a giant radio telescope, Simon plans to restart the narrative of his life.  
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Song for a Whale
by Lynne Kelly

Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales.  
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A Wish in the Dark
by Christina Soontornvat

All light in Chattana is created by one man--the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Nok, the prison warden's perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family's good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear  
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