battle of the books - indiana

Book List

For a print-friendly list of books, click here.

  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  • Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

  • You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Dentists! by Fiona Macdonald
  • The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant
  • Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln by Judith St. George
  • The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley
  • Hippos are Huge! by Jonathan London
  • Who is Malala Yousafzai? by Dinah Brown
  • Who Were the Wright Brothers? by James Buckley Jr.
  • What is the Statue of Liberty? by Joan Holub 
  • Where are the Great Pyramids? by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky
  • This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman
  • *Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic, Sung in the Year 1888 by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
  • We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart by Walter Dean Myers

Picture Books
  • The Polar Express written by Chris Van Allsburg, illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
  • *The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf written by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
  • Cora Cooks Pancit written by Dorina Lazo Gilmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day written by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz
  • Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade written by Melissa Sweet, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
*These books have newspaper articles in the illustrations. Students will not be responsible for the written content of the newspaper articles.

A note:

We understand the incredible value that illustrators play in communicating a story. We chose to include the illustrators’ names for only the books listed in the picture book section, but hope that you will pay attention to the illustrators’ names for every book you read. Questions about the illustrations are allowed for every book on the list, as this is an integral part of the story.

How are Battle of the Books books selected?

The books were selected by a committee made up of Books for a Better World members and representatives from our partnerships: EVSC and Evansville Public Libraries. Looking at a large list of submitted suggestions, we narrowed down the books based off of availability in libraries and selected books using a set of criteria. The criteria were: reading level, interest, gender focus, cultural/ethnic emphasis, and format of the book. 

Submit suggestions for next year’s book list by December 31st, 2016 by sending an email to

Where are the books located?

There are many ways to obtain the books on the list. Here are some of the places to check, based off of what is easiest for you to access:
  • School library
  • Public Library near you-
  • Evansville Public Libraries - Paper copies - all of the books on the list are in their system
    • E-books
    • Audio books
    • Online books - Find an online version of the book using Hoopla from the library website. This allows many users to check out a title at the same time.
  • Google Books
  • myON on DOE website
  • Bookstore near you (to buy)
  • Kindle (to buy)
*Please be respectful to your teammates and other participants by keeping in mind that if a book is checked out for an extended length of time, that it restricts access to it by everyone.