Partial Book List for 2020-2021

We are ready to jump into our third season of SALT. As we welcome 7th and 8th graders to the club, here are the first nine books on our 2020-2021 reading list:


  • Book of Acts NIV Bible (3rd-6th: chapters 1-14, 7th-8th: chapters 1-28)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis


  • Another Quest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
  • The Prince Warriors and the Swords of Rhema by Priscilla Shirer
  • The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  • Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick


  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

These first nine books are listed with details here on the website. We hope you enjoy some great summer reading. Watch for the remaining nine books to be announced in August.

Junior High Added for 2020-2021

We’re happy to announce the addition of junior high students to our SALT program! We are excited to get this up and rolling for the coming 2020-2021 school year. The junior high team will function the same as an elementary team but will have a shorter book list. Our hope here is that the 7th-8th Grade Division teams will be able to dive into more content-heavy books at this level. Please spread the word!

2020 SALT Tournament Postponed

The second annual Salem Area Literature Tournament, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2020, has been POSTPONED due to Governor Kate Brown’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The order prohibits large gatherings and places restrictions on social distancing over the next four weeks. You can find more details about the mandate here. The SALT Board of Directors will review options for resuming the tournament at a later date. We will send email notifications to coaches, and update the website, as new information becomes available.

Final Book List for 2019-2020

We are so excited to get started for the school year! The official reading list for 2019-2020 is here:

  • Absolutely Truly Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Book of Nehemiah NIV Bible
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
  • Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back by P.L. Travers
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • The Prince Warriors and the Unseen Invasion by Priscilla Shirer
  • The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks
  • What Was the Underground Railroad? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (5th-6th Grade Division Only)
  • Quinny & Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen (5th-6th Grade Division Only)
  • Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton (5th-6th Grade Division Only)
  • The Twenty-One Balloons by William Péne du Bois (5th-6th Grade Division Only)

Brief details for each book can be found here on the website.

Please remember that we have a mandatory coaches meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 19, 2019. Join us at 4:00 pm in the Salem Academy Elementary Library. If you are unable to attend, please contact us so we can make alternate plans to get you the current information you will need for starting up your SALT program this fall. 

Partial Book List for 2019-2020

We are so excited to jump into our second season of SALT. Here are the first eight books on our 2019-2020 reading list:

  • Book of Nehemiah NIV Bible
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • The Prince Warriors and the Unseen Invasion by Priscilla Shirer
  • Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
  • What Was the Underground Railroad? by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (5th-6th Grade Division Only)

The first eight books we’ll be diving into are listed with details here on the website. Thank you for your suggestions and we hope you enjoy some great summer reading. Watch for the remaining eight books to be announced in August.

2020 SALT Tournament Date

We’re excited to announce that the second annual Salem Area Literature Tournament will be held at Salem Academy on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Our website’s tournament clock has been set so you can enjoy the anticipation! Get details about the SALT tournament here. Please remember to check the website throughout the summer for other important information and dates you will want to mark on your calendars.

Duman Award Winner: Owen Lizama

We would like to congratulate Owen Lizama from Sonshine Christian School as our first recipient of the Duman Award.

We asked SALT coaches from participating schools to nominate one student that they felt was a behind-the-scenes hero and showed extraordinary kindness to their teammates. Owen stood out. Here is what his coach had to say about him…

“He always has the biggest smile on his face and is always encouraging to not just his teammates but to everyone around him. He is everyone’s friend! I’m very proud of how he has kept up our group’s morale and kept the teams’ eyes focused on what is important which is always doing our best and doing it for the Lord!”

The Duman Award was established as a way to honor our beloved teacher Trisha Duman who passed away this last December. Trisha was a huge supporter of SALT and served on our board. She was definitely one of the behind-the-scenes heroes for us as we were getting the program up and running. Trisha had many amazing characteristics, but she was best known for her kindness.

2019 Tournament Championship Round Videos

See the 2019 SALT tournament championship rounds as they unfolded on April 6, 2019. Watch Salem Academy and The Sharks compete for the 3rd & 4th Grade Division championship and Riviera and Salem Academy battle it out for the 5th & 6th Grade Division championship.

A Wonderful First Year

Thank you, parents and coaches, for allowing your kids to participate in SALT this year. It was a wonderful first year! I am so proud of the kids and how hard they worked. 

We will post a partial SALT reading list for 2019-2020 in the early summer so please be watching for that if your kids want to get a jump on reading the books for next year. We will have the complete list of 2019-2020 SALT books posted to the website in late summer.

Thank you again for all of your support this year!

—Jeneé Orso, Director

2019 Tournament in Pictures

Salem Academy hosted the first annual SALT tournament on April 6, 2019. Over 50 students from Salem area schools came together for a day of competition and team camaraderie. Students from 3rd to 6th grade put forth their best efforts for a fun and memorable competition.

2019 Tournament Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our first-ever SALT tournament!

3rd & 4th Grade Champions

The Sharks (Mason Cabell, Ellie Gladow, Chloe Johnston, and Baron Krebs).

5th & 6th Grade Champions

Salem Academy SALT Stars (Stella Duman, Emily Morris, Madilyn Meadows, and Kaely Vaubel)

Tournament Preparations

April is right around the corner and we are in full swing with our tournament preparations! We are looking forward to seeing you all there! 

If you haven’t already done so, please submit the names of your SALT kids so we can make sure the spellings are correct for the tournament roster. Those can be emailed to

Also, please remember to bring a full set of 16 SALT books with you to the April 6, 2019 tournament. These will be used for team challenges that are allowed at the end of each round. Please make sure the books are placed in a closed box or bag so competitors cannot see them during a skirmish. The sets of books will be placed next to the team coaches during competition.

Author Pronunciations

Please remember that the teams need to memorize and pronounce author names correctly during competitions. A great site for learning those more difficult pronunciations is and their Author Name Pronunciation Guide. This audio guide is really helpful. There are other sites out there with similar resources so this one is only a suggestion.

Salem Academy Competition

Salem Academy is hosting an in-house SALT School Competition on Friday, March 1, 2019. The competition begins at 2:15 pm in the elementary gym. Coaches are welcome to bring their teams to watch. It will be a great opportunity to see a skirmish in action and see some of the details you may not have encountered with your club yet.

Mini Skirmishes start in January

Mini Skirmishes (battles) will start in January when students return from Christmas break. Mini Skirmishes will be held during regularly scheduled club times for your school. This is a great time to practice and sharpen skills for your own school competition in February, and the tournament on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Salem Academy is planning a school competition for February. A specific date will be announced as soon as possible so that you can make plans to attend and get an inside glimpse of what the tournament in April will look like.