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Contests: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about contests?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to contests. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about contests.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about contests, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Breakout! to popular sellers like The View from Saturday to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!.

We hope this list of kids books about contests can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Contests

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

The View from Saturday book
#2
The View from Saturday
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Fox and the Jumping Contest book
#3
Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written & illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

The Easter Egg book
#4
The Easter Egg
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Jan Brett’s lovable bunny hero, Hoppi, and her remarkable Easter Rabbit will enchant readers as they pore over illustrations filled with dazzling eggs made by Flora Bunny, Aunt Sassyfrass and others.

If Hoppi can make the best Easter egg, he will get to help the Easter Rabbit with his deliveries on Easter morning. But it is not so easy. Discouraged, he goes into the woods to think when a blue robin’s egg tumbles out of its nest. Hoppi keeps it safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Rabbit arrives, he declares the empty blue eggshell the very best one to reward Hoppi for his kindness.

Spring is everywhere in gorgeous illustrations framed with pussy willows, flowering vines and flowers. Side borders feature busy rabbits making their unusual eggs and, in a border above, the Robin’s family drama unfolds.

A gatefold surprise reveals the Easter Rabbit.

Lucky Me, Lucy McGee book
#5
Lucky Me, Lucy McGee
Written by Mary Amato & illustrated by Jessica Meserve
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Fourth grader Lucy McGee’s ukulele is missing—and if she doesn’t find it soon, she’ll be kicked out of the Songwriting Club!

Lucy McGee is determined to track down her beloved instrument, but she can’t let anyone catch on—even best friend Phillip. When Lucy learns that YouTube songwriting stars Ben & Bee are playing a show on Saturday and they’re giving away a free ukulele, it seems like the perfect solution. If only it wasn’t the most in-demand, expensive concert ever.

Soon frenemy Scarlett announces that she has an extra ticket to the show, prompting everyone in the Songwriting Club to try to win her over. Lucy McGee will have to get extra creative to find out what happened to her uke and to charm the always-scheming Scarlett in this humorous but heartfelt chapter book.

The third book in Mary Amato’s charming Lucy McGee series features artwork on every page as well as song lyrics for aspiring musicians to try out on their own.

Paige the Pony book
#6
Paige the Pony
Written & illustrated by Lily Small
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Penelope is excited about the Pony Gala and her first chance to compete in the Prettiest Pony Competition, but is distracted by friends who need help. Includes activities.

Shannon and the World's Tallest Leprechaun book
#7
Shannon and the World's Tallest Leprechaun
Written by Sean Callahan & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Shannon is a stepdancer with a broken shoe. How can she ever win the Saint Patrick’s Day stepdancing contest? Enter Liam, the world’s tallest leprechaun. A leprechaun grants wishes, right?

How I Met My Monster book
#8
How I Met My Monster
Written by Amanda Noll & illustrated by Howard McWilliam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. With its perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this silly-spooky prequel to the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! will keep young readers entertained.

Froggy Picks a Pumpkin book
#9
Froggy Picks a Pumpkin
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy and friends enjoy a back-to-school ritual: a trip to the pumpkin patch. Froggy can’t wait to pick a pumpkin. He plans to carve a jack-o’-lantern and make a pumpkin pie. Prizes are given for the biggest, smallest, and prettiest pumpkin, but when Froggy trips and smashes his pumpkin, he takes home a special prize—for the ugliest pumpkin!

Snowboard Sham book
#10
Snowboard Sham
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Will Pastora’s family arrived at the Sorenson Resort for a family vacation he did not know that there was going to be a snowboarding competition; he enjoys snowboarding, but he is embarrassed to admit that he is only a beginner so he signs up at a higher level—and soon realizes that tackling the more difficult slopes is dangerous and that he needs some help to admit his error in front of his new, more experienced acquaintances.

Table of Contents
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Books About Contests and Sports And Recreation

Tournament of Champions
Written by Phil Bildner & illustrated by Tim Probert
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The third book in a fun, illustrated middle-grade series about friendship, school, and basketball. It’s spring of their fifth-grade year and Rip and Red have a thrilling opportunity to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with a few other members of Clifton United. While the tournament is only a short bus ride away, both boys will travel outside their comfort zones. Ultra-competitive Rip must play on a team with kids he doesn’t like. But he faces an even bigger hurdle when someone from his past returns, someone he hasn’t seen in years, someone who just may derail the entire weekend. As for Red, because of his autism spectrum disorder, he’s never traveled anywhere without his mother. Will he muster the courage to take the trip? Fortunately for both boys, also on the team is an unlikely addition, a source of inspiration who helps everyone discover the true meaning of the word champion. Tournament of Champions by Phil Bildner, with illustrations by Tim Probert, is a fun, fast-paced, and diverse middle grade novel perfect for reluctant readers and sports fans. Read all of the Rip and Red series: A Whole New Ballgame Rookie of the Year Tournament of Champions Most Valuable Players Praise for Rookie of the Year: “This fast, fun read featuring characters who love books as much as basketball will appeal to sports fans and nonathletes alike.” —School Library Journal “A diverse cast of characters highlights this good-natured, high-spirited slice of life.” —Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Whole New Ballgame: “The book depicts the evolution of a group of fifth graders who learn a lot, grow a lot, and help one another . . . The charming and diverse characters [are] pure fun with a lot of heart.” —School Library Journal “If the students are inspiring, so is [their teacher] Mr. Acevedo, who risks his job to do such radical things as reading aloud and encouraging free reading. (He’s supposed to be preparing the kids to take tests!) Probert’s cartoonish illustrations lend energy and personality to the likable cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews “This warm slice-of-life novel from Bildner engages and entertains . . . Probert’s energetic illustrations match the positive exuberance of the story.” —Publishers Weekly “With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.” —Children’s Book Council

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written & illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

Fox and the Jumping Contest
Written & illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Fox and the Jumping Contest is a funny, surprising picture book starring Fox—a lovable modern-day trickster character—and his animal friends, from debut author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor. Fox really, really wants to win the jumping contest. He knows just where he’ll put that first-place trophy. The only problem? Fox is not a very good jumper. But he is a very good schemer. . . . Fox and the Jumping Contest is a perfect pick for readers who enjoy humorous picture books like The Day the Crayons Quit and Dragons Love Tacos.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Snowboard Sham - When Will Pastora’s family arrived at the Sorenson Resort for a family vacation he did not know that there was going to be a snowboarding competition; he enjoys snowboarding, but he is embarrassed to admit that he is only a beginner so he signs up at a higher level—and soon realizes that tackling the more difficult slopes is dangerous and that he needs some help to admit his error in front of his new, more experienced acquaintances.

  2. Out of Step - Last season Mercy Anderson was one of the best dancers on her school’s dance team when they almost made it to the state championship, but a sudden growth spurt has made her awkward and unsure of her moves—a personal coach would help bring her back to competition level, but can she earn enough money dog walking to pay for the training?

  3. The Major Eights 4: Starstruck - In book four of the Major Eights series, Becca shoots, but will she score a meet and greet with her favorite basketball player? When Becca finds out about her school’s free throw competition, she is ready to put her basketball skills to the test! And if she wins, she’ll get to meet her favorite basketball player! But after a series of bad practices, her nerves start to get the best of her. Can the Major Eights help Becca regain her confidence and meet her hero?

  4. High Five - From the creators of the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos comes a rollicking, rhyme-tastic, interactive high five competition–starring YOU! Discover the lost art of the high five and improve your slapping skills just in time for the annual high five contest! From hand-limbering stretches to lessons on five-ing with finesse, readers are guided through a series of interactive challenges, each goofier than the next. Acclaimed creative duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have dreamed up another one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud book that kids will beg to read again and again.

Books About Contests and School

The View from Saturday
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Froggy Picks a Pumpkin
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy and friends enjoy a back-to-school ritual: a trip to the pumpkin patch. Froggy can’t wait to pick a pumpkin. He plans to carve a jack-o’-lantern and make a pumpkin pie. Prizes are given for the biggest, smallest, and prettiest pumpkin, but when Froggy trips and smashes his pumpkin, he takes home a special prize—for the ugliest pumpkin!

Miss Brown Is Upside Down!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

In this third book in the laugh-out-loud My Weirdest School series, the Brain Games are coming to Ella Mentry School! Miss Brown will help the kids do creative projects, like building a bridge out of toothpicks and designing a remote control car. But the kids are up against some tough competition. They will have to compete against the students of Dirk School to win the grand prize: a free trip to PizzaWorld!

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Yasmin the Painter - Unsure about her artistic skills, second-grader Yasmin is not looking forward to the art competition at school—but with the support and encouragement of her family she produces a prize-winning painting.

  2. Judy Moody Saves the World! - The mercurial Judy returns - and she’s in a mood to take on the world! Judy Moody did not set out to save the world. She set out to win a contest. A Band-Aid contest. It all started with the Crazy-Strip contest - and the dream that she, Judy Moody, might one day see her very own adhesive-bandage design covering the scraped knees of thousands. But when her “Heal the World” motif merits only an honorable mention, Judy Moody realizes it’s time to set her sights on something bigger. Class 3T is studying the environment, and Judy is amazed to learn about the destruction of the rain forest, the endangered species (not) in her own backyard, and her own family’s crummy recycling habits. Now she’s in a mood to whip the planet into shape - or her name isn’t Judy Monarch Moody!

  3. Ethan Marcus Stands Up - Multiple points of view lead to multiple theories about what really happened after one kid turns a punishment into a protest in this hilarious novel from Michele Weber Hurwitz. Perennial good kid Ethan Marcus has just done the unthinkable: refuse to stay seated during class. He’s not causing a riot; he’s not wandering around; he’s just sick of sitting. But the rules aren’t designed for Ethan, and so he is sent to the principal’s office. When Ethan’s sentence results in a Reflection Day—McNutt Middle School’s answer to detention—his faculty advisor suggests that Ethan channel the energy that caused his “transgression” by entering the school’s Invention Day Competition. Ethan is not exactly Mark Zuckerberg, so he doubts his ability to make anything competition-worthy. That’s the department of his slightly older sister Erin. But as Ethan and his buddy Brian get into the assignment, they realize they might actually have something. Enter Romanov, the resident tech whiz, who refuses to give them tips. But Erin is furious at her formally slacker—now traitor—brother. Meanwhile, Erin’s friend Zoe is steering clear of Erin’s drama after realizing that she may be crushing on Ethan. Then there’s Brian who has bigger things to worry about, and finally loner kid Wesley, who may know more than others realize… Told in the perspectives of multiple students, discover what really happened on the day that one kid decided to take a stand against sitting down.

  4. Original Recipe - Finley’s best friend Henry is about to turn nine, and Finley has a major problem: she has no idea what to give him for his birthday. He already owns all of her best creations! The school cook-off might be the perfect solution. The grand prize is a year’s worth of Flying Pie Pizza ― Henry’s favorite. But coming up with something original and tasty is harder than it looks. As one crazy concoction leads to another, Finley discovers that cooking is just like the rest of life ― things don’t always turn out as planned and friendship is the real prize.

Books About Contests and Performing Arts

Lucky Me, Lucy McGee
Written by Mary Amato & illustrated by Jessica Meserve
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Fourth grader Lucy McGee’s ukulele is missing—and if she doesn’t find it soon, she’ll be kicked out of the Songwriting Club!

Lucy McGee is determined to track down her beloved instrument, but she can’t let anyone catch on—even best friend Phillip. When Lucy learns that YouTube songwriting stars Ben & Bee are playing a show on Saturday and they’re giving away a free ukulele, it seems like the perfect solution. If only it wasn’t the most in-demand, expensive concert ever.

Soon frenemy Scarlett announces that she has an extra ticket to the show, prompting everyone in the Songwriting Club to try to win her over. Lucy McGee will have to get extra creative to find out what happened to her uke and to charm the always-scheming Scarlett in this humorous but heartfelt chapter book.

The third book in Mary Amato’s charming Lucy McGee series features artwork on every page as well as song lyrics for aspiring musicians to try out on their own.

Shannon and the World's Tallest Leprechaun
Written by Sean Callahan & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Shannon is a stepdancer with a broken shoe. How can she ever win the Saint Patrick’s Day stepdancing contest? Enter Liam, the world’s tallest leprechaun. A leprechaun grants wishes, right?

Bagel in Love
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Helen Dardik
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Poor Bagel! He dreams of entering the Cherry Jubilee dance contest . . . but no one wants to be his partner! Can he find a sweet-tart who doesn’t think his steps are half-baked? Bagel loved to dance. It made him happier than a birthday cake! And more than anything, he wants a partner who will spin and swirl, tap and twirl with him in the dance contest. But Pretzel sniffs that he doesn’t cut the mustard, Croissant thinks his moves are stale, and Doughnut’s eyes just glaze over. Can a cute cupcake save the day for our would-be Fred clair? Witty and pun-filled, this picture book really takes the cake.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Winner Is . . . - Two talented junior chefs have sliced and diced their way into the finale of Next Best Junior Chef. This week’s theme: innovation. Which junior chef will rise to the top and earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef? And whose goose is cooked? Two contestants compete on- and off-camera, but only one will win the whole enchilada. This is a finale you won’t want to miss! Bonus: includes real cooking techniques for the aspiring young chef!

  2. Lights, Camera, Cook! - A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants—energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver—who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit—and maybe the grits—to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

  3. The Major Eights 1: Battle of the Bands - Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together, but are they ready to perform in front of a real audience in a Battle of the Bands competition? Find out in the first book of this early chapter book series! Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine’s basement. Maggie bangs on the drums, Becca strums her guitar, Jasmine plunks the keys of her keyboard, and Scarlet wails into her hairbrush mic. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine’s brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they’re a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls. . . . With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

  4. Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! - From Academy Award–nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis comes the second story in a brand-new series about best friends Shai and Emmie, two third-graders destined for superstardom. Shai Williams—third-grader and superstar in the making—loves to act, sing, and dance. So when her teacher, Ms. Englert, signs their class up for a major dance competition, Shai’s fancy moves are put to the test. Paired up with her best friend Emmie and classmate Rio, Shai plans to settle her competition jitters by just having fun. That is until her rival, Gabby Supreme, challenges her to a bet: whoever loses the dance competition has to bring the winner one cupcake every day for a month. Now Shai has to win.

Books About Contests and Family

Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention
Written by Pip Jones & illustrated by Sara Ogilvie and Pip Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this companion to the award-winning Izzy Gizmo, Izzy Gizmo returns (together with Grandpa and Fixer) in a charming and eccentric tale of ambition, perseverance, and finding your inner strength.

Izzy Gizmo has been invited to Technoff Isle’s annual convention where the inventor of the best machine will win coveted admittance to the Genius Guild. Great inventors produce gadgets that can be put to good use, so Izzy Gizmo decides to build a recycling machine that mends broken tools. But with fearsome foe Abi von Lavish getting the best of her at every turn, can Izzy Gizmo and Fixer create the winning invention?

Featuring the creative and much-loved heroine of color, this wonderfully exuberant story has serious points to make about the importance of make do and mend.

Swim Or Sink
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Although only in eighth grade Baxter Reilly is an important member of the Edgeview High School in Tempe, Arizona, and lately the pool has been his place of refuge from the stress of his parents’ separation—but now, between the pending divorce, his father’s miserable apartment, his mother’s new boyfriend, and the resentment and bullying from his older teammates, it is getting harder to focus on his role as the anchor of the 4 x 400 freestyle relay in the upcoming races.

Wizardmatch
Written by Lauren Magaziner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Lennie Mercado’s grandfather, the current Prime Wizard of Pomporromp, is retiring and decides to host a tournament for Lennie and her cousins to compete to win his title, land, position, castle, and unlimited magical powers, but when Poppop introduces new rules to eliminate sibling rivalry, Lennie decides the games are unfair and makes plans to sabotage the event.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Size of the Truth - A boy who spent three days trapped in a well tries to overcome his PTSD and claustrophobia so he can fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef in Andrew Smith’s first middle grade novel. When he was four years old, Sam Abernathy was trapped at the bottom of a well for three days, where he was teased by a smart-aleck armadillo named Bartleby. Since then, his parents plan every move he makes. But Sam doesn’t like their plans. He doesn’t want to go to MIT. And he doesn’t want to skip two grades, being stuck in the eighth grade as an eleven-year-old with James Jenkins, the boy he’s sure pushed him into the well in the first place. He wants to be a chef. And he’s going to start by entering the first annual Blue Creek Days Colonel Jenkins Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off. That is, if he can survive eighth grade, and figure out the size of the truth that has slipped Sam’s memory for seven years.

  2. Cleonardo, the Little Inventor - Cleonardo’s father is an inventor. So was her grandfather, her great-grandfather, and all the great-greats before them. Cleo wants to be an inventor too. She tries to help her father in his workshop, but he never uses her great ideas. Can Cleo invent something big and important and perfect all by herself? This imaginative story of a father and his daughter brings the magic of creativity to little inventors everywhere.

  3. My Chocolate Year - In 1945 Chicago, as her Jewish family anxiously awaits news of relatives left behind in Europe, ten-year-old Dorrie learns new recipes in the hope of winning a baking competition at school. Includes recipes for various foods, from chocolate pudding to chocolate mandelbread.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Contests and Social Themes

The Easter Egg
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Jan Brett’s lovable bunny hero, Hoppi, and her remarkable Easter Rabbit will enchant readers as they pore over illustrations filled with dazzling eggs made by Flora Bunny, Aunt Sassyfrass and others.

If Hoppi can make the best Easter egg, he will get to help the Easter Rabbit with his deliveries on Easter morning. But it is not so easy. Discouraged, he goes into the woods to think when a blue robin’s egg tumbles out of its nest. Hoppi keeps it safe and warm until the baby bird hatches, and when the Easter Rabbit arrives, he declares the empty blue eggshell the very best one to reward Hoppi for his kindness.

Spring is everywhere in gorgeous illustrations framed with pussy willows, flowering vines and flowers. Side borders feature busy rabbits making their unusual eggs and, in a border above, the Robin’s family drama unfolds.

A gatefold surprise reveals the Easter Rabbit.

Rot, the Cutest in the World!
Written & illustrated by Ben Clanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rot, a mutant potato, enters a “Cutest in the World” contest but worries when he sees his competition.

The Million Dollar Kick
Written & illustrated by Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Whisper Nelson, who hates sports, is torn when she gets a chance to win a million dollars by kicking a goal against a local soccer hero, in the companion story to The Million Dollar Shot.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Gracie Laroo at Pig Jubilee - It is Gracie’s first time at the Pig Jubilee with her synchronized swimming team, the Water Sprites, and she is the youngest pig with a chance to win a gold medal—the trouble is that she keeps getting distracted and missing her solo part, a triple spin dive.

  2. Lucky Break - When Molly Mac loses her “lucky” pencil, she starts to panic. She needs her pencil to create a drawing for the school’s art show. Just when her luck is running out, things get even worse. Will Molly be able to enter the art contest? She needs good luck, and fast!

  3. Little Red Rhyming Hood - Because Little Red only speaks in verse, it’s tough for her to make friends. The schoolyard bully, Big Brad Wolf, is always picking on her. One day, her grandma shows her a flyer for a poetry contest, and Little Red thinks it could be her big chance to make a friend. But on the day of the contest, Big Brad Wolf sneaks up on Little Red and scares the rhyme right out of her—and into him! How will they rhyme their way out of this dilemma?

Books About Contests and Friendship

Paige the Pony
Written & illustrated by Lily Small
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Penelope is excited about the Pony Gala and her first chance to compete in the Prettiest Pony Competition, but is distracted by friends who need help. Includes activities.

Breakout!
Written & illustrated by Stacy Davidowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

It’s the end of the summer, which means one thing: Color War time! Color War is the event of the summer, a massive camp-wide competition. The camp is divided into two teams, Blue and White, with upper campers vying for the envied spot of lieutenant, a team leader position. Jenny assumes she’s got lieutenant in the bag, being a “popular girl” and all. And Play Dough sure hopes he does too—members of his family have been White team lieutenants for generations! But when assignments are announced, both are in for a surprise. Play Dough’s a lieutenant all right—for the enemy Blue team—and Jenny isn’t lieutenant at all. So who is? Jamie, Jenny’s sidekick. With the entire camp amping up for an all-out war, can Jenny and Play Dough overcome expectations and lead their teams to victory?

The Moon Is Up
Written by Mariko Tamaki & illustrated by Brooke Allen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. As the camp gears up for the big Galaxy Wars competition, Jo and the gang get some help from an unexpected visitor—a Moon Pirate! Book Two will focus on Jo, the ingenious inventor of the group who also happens to be trans.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Princess Snowbelle and the Snow Games - Return to the enchanting, icy world of Frostovia with Princess Snowbelle in this continuation of a series that combines sparkly magic and the fun girl power of Fancy Nancy. It’s time for the annual Snow Games! Princess Snowbelle and her brothers can’t wait to compete against the neighboring kingdom of Snowland in contests ranging from sled racing to sculpture building—and they especially can’t wait to win the big ice trophy. But when the games don’t go quite as planned, Snowbelle realizes there’s more to competing than winning. With the help of her friends and family—and just a little bit of magic—can she make sure the Snow Games are fun for everyone? Frostovia’s glittering world is the perfect place to meet Princess Snowbelle and experience the magic of friendship and family.

  2. The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize - Because paying attention can be tricky. Veronica Conti’s on a mission. She wants a trophy. She needs a trophy. She will not rest until a glorious golden trophy is in her hands! So when her school’s 100 Day Contest is announced, Veronica vows to take home the grand prize. But when Veronica gets teamed up with none other than Matthew Sawyer, her biggest enemy, she thinks all hope is lost. Matt gets distracted and has a history of losing stuff, not to mention that he and Veronica can’t stop arguing. To win the prize, Matt needs to organize. And to do that, he needs the Fix It Friends! Together, the friends help Matt and Veronica discover that unexpected friendship is the best prize of all.

Books About Contests and Action And Adventure

Polar Distress
Written by Sheila Grau & illustrated by Joe Sutphin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Runt Higgins has a long to-do list. He needs to find out who cursed him, and why; he needs to make up with his best friend, Syke; and he needs to pass the Junior Henchman Training Program. That last one? Not likely. Professor Murphy hates Runt and is actively trying to fail him. The only way for Runt to pass the class and stay at Dr. Critchlore s school is to locate a rare mineral that Dr. Critchlore needs to make an Undefeatable Minion. To find it, Runt must travel to icy Upper Worb and battle gyrfalcons, yetis . . . and the loathsome team from Dr. Pravus s school. Their newest member? Runt s former best friend, Syke. “

The Thirteenth Knight
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips and Jordan Quinn
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In the thirteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara learn about the legend of the Thirteenth Knight. The elite band of knights known as the Spires are searching for a new hero to join their ranks. With only twelve knights on this team, the Spires open a competition to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The winner of the Spires’ competition must show bravery, valor, wisdom, and heart. But finding the Thirteenth Knight might prove to be the Spires’ greatest challenge ever. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Alien Next Door 4: Trick or Cheat? - In the fourth book of the Alien Next Door series, Halloween is just around the corner, and Harris is excited to share the holiday with Zeke, who doesn’t even need a costume! Harris is ready for Halloween and is very excited when he sees Zeke’s “costume,” which is just his true alien form. Harris is sure Zeke will win the costume contest at school! Zeke also uses his powers to help Harris make the best costume he’s ever had, but Roxy feels left out, as she and Harris usually make costumes together every year. On Halloween, one of the other kids at school is jealous of Zeke’s amazing costume and plots to sabotage it. Will Harris and Roxy be able to stop him and help Zeke win the costume contest?

  2. Uncertain Summer - For decades something has lurked in the swampy lakes of East Texas. Could it be the elusive Bigfoot? Everdil Jackson thinks so. Her whole life she’s grown up listening to the stories of the Bigfoot sightings around Uncertain, Texas. When a TV show offers a million dollars to the person that can provide conclusive proof of Bigfoot, Everdil, her brother, and two friends form a team to snap a picture of the beast. With any luck, they’ll prove the impossible and win the money Everdil’s family badly needs. But tracking a monster, especially one nobody’s been able to catch, proves trickier than Everdil expected. With each new adventure, Everdil seems to create more problems with her friends and family than she solves. In the end, she has to hope that her brave, foolish actions will ultimately make things right with everyone, including Bigfoot. This book will remind readers that hope and loyalty are traits that we all share, no matter our size.

  3. The Great Spy Showdown - The Boxcar Children are putting their sleuthing skills to the test in a spy competition. Can you help them take the top prize? In this interactive, choose-your-path mystery, readers will help the Aldens make decisions that will either lead them to victory or blow their cover.

  4. Trojan Horse Power - Nobody told Odysseus about the monster truck competition in Troy, but when he tries to join the fun he finds that hero ThunderTrucks are not allowed in—but Odysseus comes up with a clever plan to get past the dump truck cards and enter the contest.

Books About Contests and Technology

Ada Lace Sees Red
Written by Emily Calandrelli and Tamson Weston & illustrated by Renee Kurilla
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Ada Lace is building a new robot! She’s determined to beat Milton in the upcoming robotics competition. But she’s distracted—Ada finds her dad’s art class impossible, while Nina is the star of the class, basking in the glory of being Mr. Lace’s star pupil.

When Mr. Lace suggests that Nina put on an art show, Ada becomes jealous and loses her temper. Now Ada isn’t speaking to her dad, she’s falling behind in art class, and she still doesn’t know how to fix her robot. As the competition looms closer, Ada starts to wonder if there might be a way to use both science and art to solve her problems.

Will Ada make up with her father in time to test her hypothesis? Or will her hurt feelings leave her seeing red and without a medal at the end of the day?

Robot Queen
Written by Marci Peschke & illustrated by Tuesday Mourning
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Today is a special day at Kylie Jean’s school, where everyone works on computer projects and learning coding, and Kylie is fascinated by the robotics team called RoboGirls—so she resolves to build a robot of her own, so she can impress the older girls, and join the team in time for the competition.

Billy Sure Kid Entrepreneur
Written by Luke Sharpe & illustrated by Graham Ross
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old genius inventor and budding businessman Billy Sure hosts an online contest for fellow kid innovators to share their own inventions and the winning submission will be produced by his company, Sure Things, Inc., but with so many fascinating entries, Billy wonders how he will ever choose a winner while helping other kids achieve their dreams at the same time. Simultaneous and eBook.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Never Insult a Killer Zucchini - This is one science fair you’ll never forget! When Mr. Farnsworth, the science-fair judge, declares that he loves zucchinis, the Killer Zucchini is smitten. As the judge makes his way through the exhibits alphabetically—A (antimatter), B (bionic limb), C (cloning)—the Killer Zucchini tries to show his affection. But when Mr. F gets to K and admits he likes to eat zucchini with ranch dressing, the Killer Zucchini gets steamed and attempts to exact his revenge on the snack-loving judge using the other science-fair projects as his means to an end. Hilarious havoc ensues as the entire science fair is destroyed by his wrath. Engaging backmatter provides the science behind the science fair entries created by the characters in the story.

  2. Bringing Down the Mouse - Charlie Lewis goes on a roller coaster ride of risk, math, and gaming in this middle grade novel that parallels the New York Times bestselling Bringing Down the House, which inspired the movie 21 with Kevin Spacey. Charlie Lewis is a nerd. All he’s ever been good at is math—and he’s really good at math. So good that he’s recruited by a group of kids determined to game the system at the biggest theme park in the world—and win the grand prize. Soon Charlie is caught up in the excitement and thrill of using his math skills for awesomeness…but what’s at stake may be more than he’s willing to risk. How far will Charlie go for a chance at the ultimate reward?

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