Battle of the Books is an academic team competition that tests the students' knowledge of eight pre-selected books (fantasy, historical fiction, Newbury award winning, adventure, realistic fiction). This program involves students forming teams, reading pre-selected titles and competing against other teams for prizes in a "quiz bowl" type contest. During the competition, a moderator reads 32 questions and students will receive either one, five or six points per question. Questions will be read twice, and then teams have 25 seconds to write the author's name and answer to each question. The titles are released to the teams before Christmas break and the competition is in March or April. This program is an exciting way to promote reading and help students discover new literature!
A Battle of the Books program for students in grades 4-6 is held annually with the competition taking place in the evening. Students form teams of 6 and adults coach the teams (parents, teachers, older siblings, etc.) It is up to each individual team to decide how often they will meet as a team. Most meet once or twice a month. The winning teams are rewarded with gift certificates to a book store.
All students in grades 7-8 participate in a Battle of the Books competition offered every other year Teams are formed at the end of the first card marking, early November, and each team receives one set of all eight books. Teams select a captain who will make sure that at least one member per team as read each book. Each literature teacher determines how many books a student must read, usually five of the eight books. Students either write chapter summaries or at least three questions per chapter.
On the day of the actual Battle of the Books, students sit with their team and a team from the opposite grade will be at the other end of the table. Once a question is read, teams will write down their answer and exchange answer slips. Each team writes a score of one, five or six. Slips will be given to the 5 judges for final review and the top 9 to 10 teams will receive a prize (Barnes and Noble gift card).