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.
for students in grades 3-12. The purpose is simply to encourage students
to read good books and have fun while competing with peers.
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.”
School libraries may order copies of each book on the list. The book
stores will also have them available.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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