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2015 Great Book Race   Tags: books, mercer county pa, reading, schools, west middlesex  

The Great Book Race is an annual interscholatic reading competition held at West Middlesex Jr./Sr. High School.
Last Updated: Sep 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Details about the Great Book Race

This year the Great Book Race will be held January 13, 2016 at West Middlesex Jr./Sr. High School.  There are two divisions: Junior High (grades 7 & 8) and Senior High (grades 9 - 12).  The contest is open to all schools in Mercer County. The event is sponsored by West Middlesex teachers: Geraldine Truog and Tiffany Riddle. Details will be announced in September.

The structure for the competition is as follows:

A team of up to 12 students will compete against a team from a different school in a succession of three rounds.  The competition will be based upon the team's reading of a grade appropriate book list created by a group of school librarians, reading teachers, and parent volunteers.

Thirty six questions will be asked in each round in a scholastic quiz format.  One point will be awarded for each correct answer. There will be approximately ten questions from each book in the list.  Answers will be written down, and while spelling doesn't count, answers must be readable.  In the event of a tie, additional questions will be asked to determine a winner.

The cumulative score for three rounds will determine the top three teams in each division.  Members of winning teams will receive prizes.  

To ensure that all schools are represented during the individual rounds, team advisors will serve as moderators, scorekeepers, and in other capacities during the actual competition.

Other Information:

A registration fee of $50 (tentatively) per team will be charged to cover the cost of the prizes.  Discounts are possible, if you are willing to supply book questions, contact the sponsors.

There is a limit of two teams per level (Jr. High and Sr. High) per school.

One adult per team will be expected to serve as moderator or scorekeeper.

Registration deadline (for schools) will be announced in September.  Forms will be sent in the fall.



Would you like to know more?

If you are interested in taking part in the Great Book Race, listen for announcements at your school or check with your school library media specialist or reading teacher. 

If you know you want to participate.... START READING.  Many of the books are already available at your school library media center or at your local community library.


These books are on the Senior High School List for 2015!

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The Family Romanov - Candace Fleming
ISBN: 9780375867828
Publication Date: 2014-07-08
Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read (Barnes & Noble)

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The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
ISBN: 9780142425831
Publication Date: 2015-02-10
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Barnes & Noble)

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I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
ISBN: 9780803734968
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. (Barnes & Noble) Best Books of 2014, Michael L. Prinitz Book Award Winner 2015, Top Ten Best Fiction for YA 2015.

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The Impossible Knife of Memory - Laurie Halse Anderson
ISBN: 0670012092
Publication Date: 2014-01-07
For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. (Barnes & Noble) Best Books of 2014

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The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd
ISBN: 0670024783
Publication Date: 2014-01-07
"The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid and follows the next thirty-five years of their lives"--Provided by publisher.

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The Living - Matt de la Peña
ISBN: 9780385741217
Publication Date: 2015-01-06
After an earthquake destroys California and a tsunami wrecks the luxury cruise ship where he is a summer employee, high schooler Shy confronts another deadly surprise.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
ISBN: 0062255657
Publication Date: 2013-06-18
When a middle-aged man returns to his childhood home in Sussex, England, for a funeral he remembers frightening childhood memories relating to the neighbor girl who promised to protect him from the darkness unleashed by a suicide at the pond at the end of their street.

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O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
ISBN: 0451522850
Publication Date: c1913.
The classic story of the heroic Swedish pioneers in the Nebraska country in the 1880's.

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The Piano Lesson - August Wilson
ISBN: 9780452265349
Publication Date: 1990-12-01
At the heart of the play stands the ornately carved upright piano which, as the Charles family's prized, hard-won possession, has been gathering dust in the parlor of Berniece Charles's Pittsburgh home. When Boy Willie, Berniece's exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy. This dilemma is the real "piano lesson," reminding us that blacks are often deprived both of the symbols of their past and of opportunity in the present.

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The Professor and the Madman - Simon Winchester
ISBN: 9780060839789
Publication Date: 2005-07-05
Masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary -- and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857, it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

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We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
ISBN: 9780385741262
Publication Date: 2014-05-13
Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an old-money family, headed by a patriarch who owns a private island off of Cape Cod. Each summer, the extended family gathers at the various houses on the island, and Cadence, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend Gat (the four "Liars"), have been inseparable since age eight. During their fifteenth summer however, Cadence suffers a mysterious accident. She spends the next two years—and the course of the book—in a haze of amnesia, debilitating migraines, and painkillers, trying to piece together just what happened.

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
ISBN: 9780316333603
Publication Date: 2014-08-26
Bee’s mom, Bernadette Fox is notorious, a revolutionary architect, a agoraphobic. When Bee aces her report card and claims her promised reward, a family trip to Antarctica, Bernadette disappears. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.


These are the books on the Junior High List for 2015!

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The Boundless - Kenneth Oppel; Jim Tierney (Illustrator)
Call Number: FIC OPP
ISBN: 144247288X
Publication Date: 2014-04-22
Aboard "The Boundless, " the greatest train ever built, on its maiden voyage across Canada, teenaged Will enlists the aid of a traveling circus to save the train from villains.

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The Distance Between Lost and Found - Kathryn Holmes
ISBN: 9780062317261
Publication Date: 2015-02-17
Sophomore Hallie Calhoun has just endured the most excruciating six months of her life. Once the rumors about her and the preacher's son, Luke, made their way around school, her friends abandoned her, and Hallie has completely withdrawn. Now, on a hike in the Smoky Mountains with the same people who have relentlessly taunted her, Hallie is pushed to her limit.

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An Elephant in the Garden - Michael Morpurgo
Call Number: FIC MOR
ISBN: 1250034140
Publication Date: 2013-10-08
Elizabeth's mother works at Dresden Zoo, where her favorite animal is Marlene the elephant, so when the director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok when the town is bombed, Elizabeth's mother hides Marlene in their back garden. Based on a true story from World War II.

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Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy - Susan Vaught; Jennifer Black Reinhardt (Illustrator)
Call Number: FIC VAU
ISBN: 9781481422765
Publication Date: 2015-03-03
Eleven-year-old Footer and her friends investigate when a nearby farm is burned, the farmer murdered, and his children disappear, but as they follow the clues, Footer starts having flashbacks and wonders if she is going crazy like her mother, who is back in a mental institution near their Mississippi home.

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The Lions of Little Rock - Kristin Levine
Call Number: FIC LEV
ISBN: 0142424358
Publication Date: 2013-01-10
In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.

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The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier
Call Number: FIC AUX
ISBN: 141971144X
Publication Date: 2014-05-20
Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.

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Paperboy - Vince Vawter
Call Number: FIC VAW
ISBN: 0385742444
Publication Date: 2013-05-14
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

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The President Has Been Shot! - James L. Swanson
Call Number: 973.922 SWA
ISBN: 0545490073
Publication Date: 2013-09-24
Looks at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and related events, including his funeral and the apprehension of his killer.

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Skink - No Surrender - Carl Hiaasen
Call Number: FIC HIA
ISBN: 9780375970511
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
When your cousin goes missing under suspicious circumstances, who do you call? There’s only one man for the job: a half-crazed, half-feral, one-eyed ex-governor named Skink. Skink joins 14-year-old Richard on a breakneck chase across Florida, undaunted by lightning storms, poisonous snakes, flying bullets, and giant gators.

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The Summer I Saved the World ... in 65 Days - Michele Weber Hurwitz
ISBN: 9780385371094
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she'll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets.

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Trash - Andy Mulligan
ISBN: 9780385752169
Publication Date: 2011-10-11
In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city.
One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers.

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Wake up Missing - Kate Messner
Call Number: FIC MES
ISBN: 0802723144
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
After a concussion that effects her balance, memory, and other abilities, twelve-year-old Kat goes to I-Can, the "Miracle Clinic in the Swamp, " where she joins forces with other patients to expose plot that endangers them all.


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