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By Janet Moeller

Head of Junior Years

It is widely understood that good readers become good thinkers.

More than spitting out words, good readers make movies in their minds as they read. They step into new worlds and experience the settings through the eyes of characters. In the process, they understand the world in a more sophisticated way.

At Good News, students in Years 3-6 are invited to participate in an annual competition called “Battle of the Books”. Whilst the competition is held during August Book Week each year, the reading preparation begins at the end of the previous year.

During a recent drive to work, a radio announcer mentioned that books are the most anticipated Christmas gift this year. As you look forward to Christmas and the holidays, we encourage you to consider borrowing or purchasing some of the books from the 2020 Battle of the Books list. You can see from the list that almost all the books have won prestigious awards. The books represent some of the best children’s literature available.

We encourage you to read these books with your children, even if they can read them independently. The stories that win awards are those that inspire conversation. Some in the list below can lead to discussions about World Wars 1 and 2, the Stolen Generation, and whether or not you would really want to live forever. Family dialogue on important topics expands children’s worlds even further.

As you continue to partner with us in your child’s learning, consider sharing books with your family over the Summer Holiday. Have a Merry Christmas!

Title Author Genre Country Medals Level
1 Because of Winn-Dixie Kate DiCamillo RF USA Newbery Medium
2 Black Cockatoo Carl Merrison RF Australia Aboriginal CBCA Easy
3 Blue Back Tim Winton RF Australia Wilderness Society Environment Award Medium
4 Boxcar Children Gertrude Chandler Warner RF USA   Easy
5 Boy Overboard Morris Gleitzman RF Australian YABBA Medium
6 Boy who Harnessed the Wind, The William Kamkwamba NF African   Easy
7 Brindabella Ursula Dubosarsky RF Australian CBCA Medium
8 Bud, Not Buddy Christopher Paul Curtis HF USA Newbery Difficult
9 Butterfly Lion, The Michael Morpurgo RF Multicultural J M Barrie Award Medium
10 Charlotte's Web E.B. White Classic Fantasy Newbery Easy
11 Donkey Who Carried the Wounded, The Jackie French NF Australian Goodreads Choice Award Medium
12 Each Little Bird that Sings Deborah Wiles RF USA National Book Award Finalist Medium
13 Holes Louis Sachar Fantasy USA National Book Award for Young People's Literature Medium
14 Indian in the Cupboard, The Lynn Reid Banks Fantasy USA Young Readers Award Difficult
15 Inheritance Carole Wilkinson HF Australian   Difficult
16 James and the Giant Peach Roald Dahl Fantasy USA Massachusetts Children's Award Medium
17 Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher Bruce Coville Fantasy USA Children's Choice Award Medium
18 Jungle Book, The Rudyard Kipling Classic Fantasy   Difficult
19 Magician's Nephew, The C.S. Lewis Fantasy Christian   Difficult
20 Marsh and Me Martine Murray RF Australian CBCA Medium
21 Meet Ned Kelly Janeen Brian NF Biography   Easy
22 Mirror Jeannie Baker NF Australian Australian Indie Award Easy
23 Mrs Whitlan Bruce Pasco RF Animal Australian CBCA Medium
24 His Name was Walter Emily Rodda Mystery Australian CBCA Medium
25 Nelson Mandela Kadir Nelson NF Biography Caldecott Easy
26 Run Pip Run JC Jones RF Australian CBCA Medium
27 Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Eleanor Coerr HF Japan Young Readers Award Easy
28 Sarah, Plain and Tall Patricia MacLachlan HF USA Newbery Medium
29 Tuck Everlasting Natalie Babbitt Fantasy USA ALA Notable Book Difficult
30 You are Mine Max Lucado Fantasy Christian Goodreads Choice Award Easy

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