The Wondrous World of Books

May 3, 2022

Briefs, Culture, News

To celebrate March 2nd, Read Across America Day, the ASK Catalyst developed a survey on February 20, 2022, for ASK scholars by grade level, staff members, and parents, to document their favorite books. There were a variety of responses to the survey, with the most popular book of the entire ASK population being Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling.

In 6th grade, three books have tied for the most popular. These books include Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland, Keepers of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Wings of Fire follows the story of five young dragons who are raised to fulfill a prophecy of ending the war between the tribes of Pyrrhia. Keepers of the Lost Cities is about 12-year-old Sophie who has recently discovered she is a telepath. Upon discovering this, she decides to leave her family and uncover the truth of why she was hidden among humans. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Lightning Thief is told through the eyes of a young boy, Percy Jackson, who is a newly discovered Greek demigod. When accused of stealing Zeus’s master bolt, he must find and return it before those he loves are hurt. 


7th and 9th grade’s most prominent choice of books was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling. This book follows Harry Potter, a young-orphaned wizard who is returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year. Throughout the year, Dobby, a house-elf, warns him of the dangers that are coming to Hogwarts. Upon hearing mysterious whispers in the corridors and finding paralyzed students, Dobby’s warnings seem to become true.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, was the top-rated book for 8th grade. This dystopian novel takes place in the nation of Panem, once known as North America. Panem is a shining capital surrounded by twelve outlying districts, which long ago waged war on Panem and were forced to surrender. As part of the terms to surrender, the districts agreed to send one boy and one girl to compete in the annual Hunger Games. 74 years later, sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen has been selected to compete in the Hunger Games against the other districts’ competitors, to the death, to survive the Games. 

Lord of Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien is 10th grade’s most highly favored. This classic fantasy novel follows a young hobbit, Frodo Baggins, who is being hunted for the Ring of Power. The dark Ringwraithes plan to take the ring back to their master, Sauron, who would have the capability to destroy all good in the world. Frodo, knowing he is being sought after, travels with a group of companions, whose mission is to send the Ring to the only place it can be destroyed, the center of Sarong’s dark kingdom.

The Pathfinder Core Rulebook is 11 grade’s favorite book. This book does not follow a story, but is a guide through a fantasy video game, Pathfinder. This book helps players with rules, spells, poisons, curses, and hints, that can help them achieve the goals of the game.  

 For 12th grade, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera-, is the top-rated book. This novel follows two teenagers, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio, who are told by Death-Cast that they are going to die that day. Although Mateo and Torrez are strangers, they become friends through Last Friend, an app that brings people together on their last day of life. Upon meeting, they decide to go on one last exciting adventure, their goal being to live a lifetime in a single day. 

There were no clear favorite books because of the various types of responses. Some classics in the results included, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Wrinkle in Time. The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Pauline Baynes, is about four adventurous siblings who walk through a wardrobe and into the world of Narnia. Narnia is a world that has been eternally frozen in winter and enslaved by the White Witch. When all hope is lost, the lion, Aslan, prophesied and signaled great change. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, follows the story of Meg Murry, her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and neighborhood friend, Calvin O’Keefe who are searching for Meg’s long-lost father. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a novel taking place in the eyes of a young girl. The plot is focused around the girl’s father, who is a local lawyer, who risks everything to defend a Black man, who has been unjustly accused of a crime. 

The favorite book of our scholar’s parents was Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel about a 100-year war between the Buggers and Humans. The government breeds child geniuses, intending to raise them to ward mastermind strategies for future battles with the Buggers. Ender Wiggin has been drafted into Battle School, where he later suffers isolation and loneliness. He is later sought as the possible genius to win the war with the Buggers. 

To celebrate Read Across America Day, The ASK Catalyst invites The ASK Academy to celebrate by reading all of ASK’s favorite books. Even if this selection of books does not all include a genre you typically read, they can be unexpectedly enjoyable and bring you further into the wondrous world of reading. 

 Liliana Chavez is a 9th-grade writer for the ASK Academy newspaper, The ASK Catalyst. 


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