Site icon Linda Ulleseit

Novel Madness

Even though this is my first year teaching with Reader’s Workshop, my sixth grade students have gotten very excited about reading. I, too, read voraciously. They share books with me and with each other, and I share books with them. So to coincide with March Madness, although I’m starting rather later, I decided to have a novel tournament in my class.

Today, in teams, the students brainstormed the top sixteen novels. These could be old or current favorites. We compiled the team lists into one list. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be holding debates and voting on pairs of books until we have crowned the top novel of the year.

Here are their top sixteen, in no order:

Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Hex Hall by Rachel Hopkins

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Holes by Louis Sachar

Cinder by Marissa Meyers

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale

I am impressed by the diversity of titles. The students made an effort to represent their favorite series without overwhelming the list with multiple titles. So although they have both Hunger Games and its sequel, they only have one 39 Clues book (Maze of Bones), one Pendragon book (Merchant of Death), and one Harry Potter book. Two books that we read together in class are included, Al Capone Does My Shirts and Number the Stars, as well as books I discovered and recommended, like Cinder, and books that are new to me like Unwanteds and Wednesday Wars.

I know they had a limited time to come up with titles, but there are some missing that I know they love, like the Narnia series and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart. Overall, though, I think they did a good job.

Two students have been assigned to each book and are preparing their best persuasive arguments. They will know which book is competing against theirs and will also prepare some rebuttals to what they think the others will say against their books.


Exit mobile version