Novel Madness!

It’s that time again. March Madness for basketball, and Novel Madness in my classroom. The students whittled down a long list to come up with their top 16 favorite novels. Students will write persuasive speeches to convince their classmates to vote for their book. By Easter, we’ll have a winner–stay tuned!

Round One:

Wonder by R. J. Palacio vs. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien vs. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan vs. Holes by Louis Sachar

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli vs. Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan vs. BFG by Roald Dahl

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling vs. Diary of a  Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Ghost Files by Apryl Baker vs. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart vs. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


There are some old favorites here that come up every year, but as usual there are some new ones, too. Which is your favorite? Round One ends Friday and I will post the results of all these matchups then.

28 responses to “Novel Madness!”

  1. This is a great way to see everyone’s opinions on the books. All of them are unique in their own way and are exciting to read, except my least favorite, The Hunger Games. My favorite books are The Hobbit and Holes because both are equally good. Even though they’re in different genres, they have awesome story lines, such as the twist in Holes when Stanley finds out his great-great-grandfather knew Zero’s great-great-great grandmother. Which book would you think is better?

    1. Many of my favorites aren’t even up there! I never want to say which one(s) I think will win because I don’t want to influence the vote.

  2. I think Novel Madness is a great idea! I have never seen anything like it, and wish I had done it before! I like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and The Maze Runner. I am assigned to The Maze Runner, and am against Maniac Magee for the first round. How many years have you done Novel Madness?

    1. This is the third year for Novel Madness. I love seeing the books chosen by students!

  3. Novel Madness is great. I hope hobbit will win because I like the book. Did you know that Hobbit became a movie? Who do you think will win.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying Novel Madness, Darren. Proofread your comment carefully (you’re missing a capital and a question mark). I don’t want to predict a winner (see my reply to Alexander above).

  4. I think that Novel Madness is very fun. My assigned book is The Lost Hero and I’m competing against The BFG(even though I haven’t read it yet) My favorite books are Holes and Wonder. How long will you continue Novel Madness?

    1. We will be all done with Novel Madness by next week, believe it or not!

  5. Thank you for providing all of the book names here; it makes things much easier to see my favorites, and read the other books that I haven’t read. I am really enjoying Novel Madness, and I’m so happy that it includes my favorite books which are The Ghost Files, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and The Hunger Games. I am a little sad that Divergent didn’t make it to the top sixteen, but that’s okay.I’m very curious to see which book will win. I’ve never experienced this before so I hope this will be a fun experience. How was it when you did this for the first time and how many times have you done this?

    1. I love Novel Madness, too, Brenda! This is the third year I’ve done it. every year students are super excited!

  6. Aashish Kamidi Avatar
    Aashish Kamidi

    Novel Madness is a fun way to express opinions about books. When I think about the speeches and the details that the my classmates give us, it makes me want to read the books a lot more than i used to. I never thought of a debate where people tell speeches about books. This was a great idea, and I hope that you will continue this on! You have already answered one of my questions, but did you always have students vote, or did you use to pick the best speech?

    1. Aashish Kamidi Avatar
      Aashish Kamidi

      I forgot to capitalize one I!Oops!

      1. I see ‘on’ instead of ‘one’ but no missing capital… 🙂

        I always let students vote. That’s the best part!

  7. Even though I lost in the first round, I still like the good idea of Novel Madness. I am personally enjoying this as well as many other students. I also wonder if you enjoy the thrill of Novel Madness, Mrs. Ulleseit?

  8. I really like how you got the idea for Novel Madness from March Madness. I’ve never heard of anything like it before. Out of all of these books my favorite book is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, what’s yours?

    1. I like all the Harry Potter books, but I’m not picking any winner!

  9. I am ready to present my ideas. It will be fun for all the classmates to see which book wins the Novel Madness. The book that will win Novel Madness I think of is Diary of the Wimpy Kid because it is hilarious. What else of the books do you will win Novel Madness?

    1. What else of the books? Do you mean which book I think will win? That’s a weird sentence. I’m not picking a winner–I don’t want to influence the votes!

  10. I am ready to present on Thursday for Novel Madness. Holes is the best book ever. I think novel madness is very instructing ad i want to know what will happen next.

    1. Do you have a question?

  11. I agree with Gelila. I, in fact, would have also enjoyed participating in Novel Madness in the previous years. Out of all the books in Novel Madness, I’ve read and was pleased with the Hunger Games, Blood of Olympus, Holes, Wonder, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Lucky for me, I got my favorite: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For the first round, I’m competing against Diary of the Wimpy Kid. In a way, the Novel Madness gives us experience to write proper-formed comments, and allows everyone a chance to present and speak to the whole class. Also, it awards us an opportunity to read and learn about new books, have a competition against our classmates and to have fun while doing it! Where did you learn about this amazing concept of Novel Madness? Did you come up with that idea?

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying Novel Madness! I would love to say it was my idea, but it wasn’t. I read about it in a teacher magazine. I instantly was excited and knew my students would enjoy it!

  12. Novel madness is a great idea! The books are great selections, but are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries really necessary? I mean, they’re good books, but the reading level is for a second grader.

    1. I actually agree that there are better choices than those two, but many great books for younger kids are ones you remember forever. Matilda is one that shows up every year, even though it didn’t make the top 16 this year.

  13. What an amazing idea, Linda! Your students are so lucky to have you. 🙂 I’m not much into basketball, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this novel contest. Have fun!

    1. Thanks, Karin! I’m not into basketball, either. This is way more fun!

  14. This event sounds really exciting! Honestly, I think this is a good alternate for March Madness, a basketball event. Sadly, I wasn’t there to be able to pick one of the novels I really liked. Have you done Novel Madness yourself?

    1. Done it myself? You mean voted? No, I never have. I’m glad you like the idea!

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