The Wednesday Wars

AUTHOR: Gary Schmidt

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY: Seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood isn’t happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Holling’s domineering father is obsessed with his business image and disregards his family. Throughout the school year, Holling strives to get a handle on the Shakespeare plays Mrs. Baker assigns him to read on his own time, and to figure out the enigmatic Mrs. Baker. As the Vietnam War turns lives upside down, Holling comes to admire and respect both Shakespeare and Mrs. Baker, who have more to offer him than he imagined. And when his family is on the verge of coming apart, he also discovers his loyalty to his sister, and his ability to stand up to his father when it matters most.

Britfield and the Lost Crown

AUTHOR: C.R. Stewart

GENRE: Adventure, Mystery

SUMMARY: Tom has spent the majority of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, but when he learns that his parents might actually be alive, Tom is determined to find them. Together, with his best friend Sarah and armed with only the word “Britfield” as a clue to Tom’s mysterious past, the two make a daring escape. Now, they are on the run from a famous Scotland Yard detective and what appears to be half of the police officers in England! The hunt is on, but will Tom and Sarah be able to evade capture long enough to solve an even bigger conspiracy that could tear apart the country?

The Mysterious Benedict Society

AUTHOR: Trenton Lee Stewart

GENRE: Adventure, Fiction, Mystery

SUMMARY: “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end, just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

AUTHOR: Henry Clark

GENRE: Adventure, Humor, Science Fiction

SUMMARY: When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a rare zucchini-colored crayon between the cushions of a mysterious sofa at their bus stop, they quickly find themselves in the middle of an evil plot to conquer the world! The plot’s mastermind, Edward Disin, is responsible for starting the underground coal seam fire that continually burns just beyond the kids’ backyards, a dastardly cover-up for an intergalactic portal that will soon transport an army of invaders to Earth. Disin’s only weakness is his otherworldly obsession with the zucchini crayon–and he knows the kids have it. But with the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificial intelligence in the form of a double-six domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, three kids from the middle of nowhere might be able to save the planet. Henry Clark’s dazzling debut middle grade novel is a thoroughly original, unabashedly wacky, and surprisingly affecting story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.

Partial Book List for 2021-2022

Our fourth season of SALT is about to begin. Here are the first eight books on our 2021-2022 reading list:

7TH-8TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

5TH-6TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Winter War by Priscilla Shirer
  • Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  • What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? by Judith St. George

3RD-4TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  • Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Winter War by Priscilla Shirer
  • What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? by Judith St. George

These first eight books are listed with details here on the website. Watch for the remaining books to be announced in September. Enjoy some great summer reading!

Ramona the Pest

AUTHOR: Beverly Cleary

GENRE: Children’s literature, Fiction

SUMMARY: This is the second title in the hugely popular series about Ramona Quimby. Ramona doesn’t think she’s a pest — she knows that she isn’t a pest on purpose. So how in the world does Ramona get in trouble? Why does Davy run away whenever Ramona comes near him? And how does she manage to disrupt the whole kindergarten class during their rest time? Beverly Cleary is one of America’s most popular authors and has won many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

AUTHOR: Lewis Carroll

GENRE: Fantasy, Literary Nonsense

SUMMARY: After a tumble down the rabbit hole, Alice finds herself far away from home in the absurd world of Wonderland. As mind-bending as it is delightful, Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel is pure magic for young and old alike.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to differences in multiple editions of this book, please read this edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3.

What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

AUTHOR: Judith St. George

GENRE: History, Non-Fiction

SUMMARY: When Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the “Corp of Discovery” left St. Louis, Missouri, on May 21, 1804, their mission was to explore the vast, unknown territory acquired a year earlier in the Louisiana Purchase. The travelers hoped to find a waterway that crossed the western half of the United States. They didn’t. However, young readers will love this true-life adventure tale of the two-year journey that finally brought the explorers to the Pacific Ocean.

Really Truly

AUTHOR: Heather Vogel Frederick

GENRE: Children’s Fiction

SUMMARY: Truly Lovejoy is excited for the perfect summer in Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire: swim practice outside, working at the bookstore, one-on-one time with her mom, and best of all, time with the dreamy RJ Calhoun who may just like Truly back. But the idyllic falls apart when she’s sent off to mermaid academy — sparkly tail and all.

Luckily, a mystery is never too far behind the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes, and synchronized swimming turns into a hunt for a sunken ship and an investigation of the founding of Pumpkin Falls… which may have involved more pirates than originally thought.

And as the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes get closer to the heart of the mystery and Truly gets closer to her mermaid debut, she may just learn to come out of her shell.

The Winter War

AUTHOR: Priscilla Shirer

GENRE: Fantasy Fiction, Adventure Fiction, Christian Fiction, Religious Fiction

SUMMARY: Two years ago, the Prince Warriors lost one of their own, but now they must stand firm… because death is coming once again. In this sequel to Priscilla Shirer’s best-selling trilogy, the Prince Warriors return to Ahoratos to find it bare and dangerous. The Winter War is upon them.

Book of James

AUTHOR: James

GENRE: Religious Text

SUMMARY: The book of James is a General Epistle. The key personalities of this book are James and Persecuted Christians. James wrote this book to Jewish believers to encourage them to endure and live bold Christian lives. It is a book about practical Christian living that reflects a genuine faith that transforms lives. In many ways, it is similar to the book of Proverbs.

In chapter 1, James teaches believers to test their faith, put it into action, and to be servants of Jesus Christ. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (1:22).

In chapters 2-3, James describes the relationship between faith and works. He teaches that a person of faith without works demonstrates useless faith. What good is a person’s faith if they don’t present it to the world? A believer’s good works are evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ. He also teaches that everyone is a sinner and that if one of the 10 Commandments are broken, then that person is guilty of breaking every one of them. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (2:10).

In chapters 4-5, James gives wise instruction to believers. He said, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7). A faithful believer will desire to follow hard after God in service, obedience, and prayer. In the last chapter, James stresses the weight and magnitude of prayer for every believer. He uses the word “Prayer” seven times, signifying its importance. In the final verse of his book, James expresses the magnitude of living faith in action saying:

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20, NIV

The Silver Chair

AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis

GENRE: Novel, Children’s literature, Fantasy Fiction, Christian literature

SUMMARY: NARNIA… where owls are wise, where some of the giants like to snack on humans, where a prince is put under an evil spell… and where the adventure begins.

Eustace and Jill escape from the bullies at school through a strange door in the wall, which, for once, is unlocked. It leads to the open moor… or does it? Once again Aslan has a task for the children, and Narnia needs them. Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, they pursue the quest that brings them face to face with the evil Witch. She must be defeated if Prince Rillian is to be saved.

The People of Sparks

AUTHOR: Jeanne DuPrau

GENRE: Science Fiction, Children’s literature, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Young adult fiction, Fantasy Fiction

SUMMARY: The sequel to the critically acclaimed The City of Ember continues the story of Lina and Doon, who have led the citizens from the underground city to an exciting new world. They’ve been given safe haven in a small village called Sparks, a place filled with color and life. But they’re not out of danger yet. Although Sparks seems like the answer the long-suffering Emberites have been hoping for, tempers soon escalate. The villagers have never had to share their world before, and it only takes a tiny “spark” to ignite a battle between the two struggling groups. Lina and Doon will have to work together to avoid a disaster not only for their people, but also for the people of Sparks.

Practice Questions Now Available

Practice skirmish questions have been posted for all divisions! Coaches can find the practice questions on our Resources page. Viewing, downloading, and printing these PDFs require your access password. Please remember that password access and practice questions are for COACH USE ONLY. If you have forgotten your access password, please email Jeneé Orso and it will be sent to you as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to our virtual tournament on Friday, April 30, 2021! Please watch the website for announcements and tournament details as we get closer to the event!

Final Book List for 2020-2021

We are happy to announce the official reading list of 15 books for 2020-2021. Brief details for each book can be found here on the website. 3rd-4th Grade Division will read 9 of the books, 5th-6th will read 12, and 7th-8th will read 6 books. Please see each division’s complete list below:

3RD-4TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Another Quest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • Book of Acts NIV Bible (Chapters 1-14)
  • Book Scavenger: The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018 by Lauren Tarshis
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
  • The Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema by Priscilla Shirer
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
  • Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

5TH-6TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Another Quest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • Book of Acts NIV Bible (Chapters 1-14)
  • Book Scavenger: The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018 by Lauren Tarshis
  • Rascal by Sterling North
  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies 
  • The Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema by Priscilla Shirer
  • The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
  • Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

7TH-8TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Book of Acts NIV Bible (Chapters 1-28)
  • Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold by Janet & Geoff Benge
  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  • York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby