March Madness Book Bracket

March Madness Book Bracket (c) Kristen Dembroski


Well I am VERY excited to share a new school wide reading project with you. I created a March Madness Book Bracket for our middle school (grades 6-8). I figured – hey, the kids are really excited about their NCAA brackets. Why not capitalize on their excitement and direct some energy toward books and reading? Of course!

I began by asking our school librarian for a printout of the most popular (checked-out) books at our school. This is our list (in random order):

  • Summer Ball – Mike Lupica
  • 13 Gifts – Wendy Mass
  • The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  • Crank – Ellen Hopkins
  • The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate
  • Legend – Marie Lu
  • The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
  • The Eleventh Plague – Jeff Hirsch
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney
  • Divergent – Veronica Roth
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznik
  • Okay For Now – Gary D. Schmidt
  • Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
  • Brian’s Hunt – Gary Paulsen
  • Framed – Gordon Korman
  • Holes – Louis Sachar

I then created a presentation to share with all of the Language Arts teachers that includes a picture and a brief synopsis of each book.

The plan is that we will vote on all of the same dates of the NCAA March Madness sweeps:

  • Sweet Sixteen – 3/24
  • Elite Eight – 3/27
  • Final Four – 3/31
  • Championships – 4/4

Students will vote in Language Arts class, and we will use an electronic survey (Google forms). They are asked to vote for either a) their favorite books or b) the most compelling books they would want to read. We will continue until we have one winner for our whole school.

I think this activity is going to generate a lot of interest in these books. I’ve asked the librarian to please use up any remaining budget to purchase a few more copies of this. I can’t wait to report back on the wonderful developments!

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