Battle of the Books by C. L. Lewis

Because of the Creed Griffon series, I’ve been privileged to visit many wonderful schools. Some of them have incorporated the B.O.B. program (Battle of Books) or similar programs. I first learned of the B.O.B. competition at one of my book signings. A teacher purchased a copy of The Road to Dendura and told me she was going to offer it up to her students for battle. Of course this sparked my interest and momentarily left me thinking – ‘What kind of teacher are you?’ Images of a kid type American Gladiator were quick to pelt my brain. Thankfully, she began telling me about the B.O.B. and how her kids really come alive when competing against each other.

Below is a little bit of information about the program directly from the official Battle of the Books website. All I can say is that they do take this competition very seriously and  allow students to compete at local, regional, and state levels. However, if you don’t want to participate on a major scale, I’ve known various teachers who have held private book battles just for their own classes, with books of their own choosing, along with various incentives. If you’ve been looking for new ways to get your children or teens interested in reading, the following should give you a few ideas. 

What is Battle of the Books :

America’s Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading incentive program
for students in grades 3-12. The purpose is simply to encourage students
to read good books and have fun while competing with peers.

How Does A Student Participate?

A student participates by reading from the book list provided for that
year’s America’s Battle of the Books. Students may count “books” they
have read before. However, they cannot count books that they have only
seen on a video or a movie. They must read the book. They should keep a
summary so they can review this information before their “Local Battle.”

Where Do The Students Get The Books?

School libraries may order copies of each book on the list. The book
stores will also have them available.

When Do The Students Read The Books?

The school battles will be held usually in March or April of that year.
Therefore, students will have plenty of time to read the books during
the school year. Reading through the summer is completely optional, but
available to students.

What Is The “Battle?”

A typical “Battle” is a full day tournament or game, like the College
Bowl, in which students’ teams earn points by answering questions about
the books on the book list. The day begins with a meeting in the
cafeteria, a morning snack and directions for the day. Then they are
assigned to a team, given a mascot, and sent to their first round of the
“Battle.” They play several rounds, each against a different team. At
the end of the morning, points are totaled and the two teams with the
most points are invited to a “Grand Battle” after lunch, with the other
teams as their audience. These two teams will also be given the
opportunity to participate in the regional “Battle” in April and the
statewide “Battle” also held in May or June, if regional battles have
been organized by local participants in your area.


How Does It Benefit The Child?

The students gain knowledge and enjoyment from reading good books,
sharing them with friends, parents and teachers, plus a fun day of
playing in the “Battle.”

What Does It Cost To Participate?

The only cost is an annual membership fee. We require that each school
or group using our questions have a current America’s Battle of the
Books association member. An association member is typically a
librarian, teacher, or designated parent. All of our questions are free,
as well as most of our resources. When you fill out the membership form
please send a check (we do not accept credit cards or purchase orders)
with this form.

About Battle of the Books

America’s Battle of the Books is a business partnership that serves
students, families, and schools. No one receives a salary or profits
from the service provided through America’s Battle of the Books. We
exist solely to promote the enjoyment of reading and to strength the
curriculum goals in America’s educational environment. Our financial
profits are placed back into our business to promote our services and
educational goals.



Like Us on Facebook Over 16,000 Likes!

The Road to Dendura Teen Fiction & and Single Parenting

Whether at a book signing event or in Wal-Mart I always get
asked the question – “So what is your teen fiction book about?” It’s not an
outrageous question. As a matter of fact it’s quite appropriate. However, most
short stories you will find have one central theme or goal that is easily
summarized. But when you move into the larger stories, you will discover that
often times they have more than one theme/more than one goal. The Road to
Dendura falls into the latter of the two. 
Creed Griffon, my main character, is
a young boy who comes from a single parent family. As a matter of fact, so does
his best friend, Burton Woods. Both are attending an upscale private school on sheer
merit and hard work. Many of their classmates know that neither boy can afford to attend without financial assistance and consequently, they are teased
because of it. 
Therefore, one central theme of The Road to Dendura touches on is the life
of single parent families as well as their struggles. From this approach the concept is introduced –  that although our start in life may not be great, it’s our finish
that truly counts. It’s our finish that often times, we have a say in. 

What is really
important to remember, is that Creed is a normal kid, just like the millions of kids around the world. He is set to do great things but many times falls back on
the fact that he, himself is not great. However, Creed learns that just because he may not feel special doesn’t mean that he isn’t!

Everyone has the opportunity to be great. The chance to do
so is wide and varied. For example, greatness does not come from our situation, but how we
react in the midst of it. Likewise, Creed struggles in the face of adversity but never
quits because he knows his friends are depending on him. 

Furthermore, he discovers he
has magical powers, but this is not truly what makes him special either. I like to
believe that everyone has a special talent whether it is drawing, singing, or
simply having a smile that brightens up a room! Similarly, another thing that makes a person ‘great’ is when they use their gift to help
someone. Correspondingly, one of the things that makes Creed so special is what he does with his magic,
what he will do with his magic…


Like Us on Facebook Over 16,000 Likes!

Why Your Child or Teen Doesn’t Want to Read

Part of the reason I wrote Creed Griffon in The Road to Dendura, was because the homeschool program I was using at the time, didn’t offer books that interested my kids or motivated them to read. To be honest, I’m a long time fan of children and young adult fiction novels. There’s something magical about any book that can take you away from your present and delve you into whatever trials the characters in the book are facing. However, it always seems to be this particular genre that sends me on such a journey.

The idea for Creed Griffon was conceived on a long car trip I took across the United States. I had many hours to think and drive. It was at this time, I started penning my thoughts for the story. I wrote down things that I thought would be interesting or exciting to read or listen to. Likewise, if you want to get your children to read, find out what they’re interested in! 

Many times they don’t read because they feel they’re being forced to, or they’re simply not interested in the subject. And in my opinion, comic books are just fine! Why not? There are still words on the page and the reader has to follow in sequence…

Regardless, tons of books are available on just about every subject imaginable. These days we don’t have to simply rely on the library either. Nook, I pad, and Kindle offer free downloads for thousands of titles.


Like Us on Facebook Over 16,000 Likes!

Homeschool is not like Little House on the Praire

Some of the most common questions I get asked/emailed revolve around homeschool. Particularly the social and educational aspects. I’ll attempt to briefly cover the educational aspect first – saving the social aspect for later…Homeschool has come a long way, especially in the last few years. 

I think most people’s perceptions of homeschool are that we emulate the Little House on the Prairie stigma… huddled together over meager supplies – doing the best we can with our pittance of crude and outdated information…(I love that show by the way) 

However, contrary to that idea, there are many, many, highly developed, carefully managed, accredited programs that not only keep in line with state run programs, but often surpass them such as: A becka , Connections Academy, or Bridgeway Academy – all of which vary within those guidelines. You simply need to choose the best program for you and your family. 

By no means am I condemning the modern school system or its teachers…Having been in that scenario myself, I understand that teachers are some of the most hardworking people on the planet, hence the site’s free book program.

With that being said, I believe one of the most innovative ideas taught in the homeschool setting are life-skills. We seek to not only educate our children but to provide them with real life circumstances in which to use that knowledge. Therefore, we take it a step further going from book learning to real world circumstances. This is particularly good when you hear your child/teen say, “When will I ever use this!” 

For example: I have a friend who after teaching her children the idea of capitalism, developed a product – made by the entire family – and sold this item out on the street and in the mall for profit. The children not only learned how to market/sell a product, which they’d made themselves…But they had  to learn the back end portion of the business by balancing the books, and buying new materials to keep the business running.

They did quite well and to this day continue to make not only a profit – but have forged a deep understanding within each child of  the learning concepts they wished to impress upon them. 


Like Us on Facebook Over 16,000 Likes!