2nd Annual Battle of the Books – The Rematch

Get ready for the Battle of the Books!

Save the date: Tuesday December 1, 2015, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Murphy Library

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The priceless champions trophy. p.s. It used to be a bowling trophy!

After all the fun we had last year (and all the unresolved competitive spirit) Murphy Library, the School of Education, and the La Crosse Public Library will be hosting the 2nd Annual, campus-wide, Battle of the Books.Battleofthebooks_buttons-01

For those unfamiliar with battle of the books contests, teams of reading aficionados read a selection of books during a couple of weeks and then come together to test their knowledge of the books in a trivia battle-royale. At the end, the winners stand victorious with prizes in tow, while their fallen foes (at Murphy Library, anyway) get to enjoy sugary confections to nurse their wounded pride. Check out the pictures from last year to see the carnage (we really mean fun)! 

Thats the gist of it.


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Things degrade quickly during trivia…

All members of the UW-L campus community are invited to create a team with 3-4 friends to compete. Teams can sign up by using this form or by contacting Marc Manke, Murphy Library,mmanke@uwlax.edu by Friday, November 13. Teams will be required to read the list of 10 books by December 1, 2015.  The books for this year’s contest have yet to be selected but will be announced mid-October, so check back.

Each team can choose to have members read every book or — what we recommend — divide the books among the teammates. Many of these books are in Murphy Library and the La Crosse Public Library. We will be happy to work with you to find copies of these books.

Teams will answer questions based on the books read. The team with the most points will be crowned victorious and will receive the grandest of prizes (probably better snacks), while the remaining teams may be allowed to enjoy some snacks, depending on the goodwill of the winning team. Teams will be awarded prizes based on their performance.

The culminating trivia battle will be held on Tuesday December 1, 2015 from 6:30p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Murphy Library Room 121.

So, get some friends together, read some books, and become trivia champions (or trivia novices)!


Book List

(Click each book image to find books available in the area)

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.

This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Roller Girl

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.

In her graphic novel debut, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverence, and girl power!

The Crossover

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander (He Said, She Said 2013).

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell

A 2015 Newbery Honor Book – Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.

The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

Mira in the Present Tense

Mira in the Present Tense by Sita Brahmachari

Mira in the Present Tense by Sita Brahmachari

Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic, and outspoken family in which it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her and also starts to keep some of her own. An incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance of life and death, but keeps the celebration of friendship, culture, and life at its heart.

Ungifted  by Gordon Korman

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel in which one middle-school troublemaker accidentally moves into the gifted and talented program—and changes everything. For fans of Louis Sachar and Jack Gantos, this funny and touching underdog story is a lovable and goofy adventure with robot fights, middle-school dances, live experiments, and statue-toppling pranks!

When Donovan Curtis pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students.

Although it wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, the ASD couldn’t be a more perfectly unexpected hideout for someone like him. But as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything), he shows that his gifts may be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.

The Green Glass House by

The Green Glass House by Kate Milford

The Green Glass House by Kate Milford

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

Mark of the Thief

Mark of the Thief Jennifer A. Nielsen

Mark of the Thief Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the NYT and USA TODAY bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy’s courage at the heart of it all.

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic’s newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

Unfriended by Rachel Vail

Unfriended by Rachel Vail

Unfriended by Rachel Vail

When Truly is invited to sit at the Popular Table with the group she has dreamed of joining, she can hardly believe her luck. Everyone seems so nice, so kind to one another. But all is not as it seems with her new friends, and soon she’s caught in a maelstrom of lies, misunderstandings, accusations and counter-accusations, all happening very publicly in the relentless, hyperconnected social media world from which there is no escape.

Six eighth-graders, four girls and two boys, struggle to understand and process their fractured glimpses into one another’s lives as they find new ways to disconnect, but also to connect, in Rachel Vail’s richest and most searching book.

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schultz

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schultz

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schultz

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her delicious wit and keen eye to early twentieth-century America in a moving yet comedic tour de force.

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself—because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of—a woman with a future. Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz relates Joan’s journey from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a society household in Baltimore (Electricity! Carpet sweepers! Sending out the laundry!), taking readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty; cats, hats, and bunions.