Battle of the Books by C. L. Lewis

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. 

What is Battle of the Books :

America’s Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading incentive program
for students in grades 3-12. The purpose is simply to encourage students
to read good books and have fun while competing with peers.

How Does A Student Participate?

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.”

Where Do The Students Get The Books?

School libraries may order copies of each book on the list. The book
stores will also have them available.

When Do The Students Read The Books?

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.

What Is The “Battle?”

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.


How Does It Benefit The Child?

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.”

What Does It Cost To Participate?

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.

About Battle of the Books

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
educational goals.



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Drive Through Mentality by C. L. Lewis Author of The Creed Griffon Road to Dendura Series

The times we live in are
amazing. We are such a fast paced society reinforced by limitless technology.
We’re able talk to people half way around the world via a computer the size of
our palm or by a pocket sized phone we text with in one hand while driving with
the other!

From fast food in five minutes, dinner microwaved in ten, to coffee
brewers for our cars, most of us aren’t left wanting for instant conveniences.
(Personally, I’m waiting for chocolate air) One of my favorite questions I get
asked at book signings is, “When do you find time to relax?” The answer is
simple, I don’t find time, I make time – or I lose all creativity. 

Like many of you, I
get caught up in what I like to call the drive though rush mentality – the
ultimate hurry up and wait drama. It begins to wear on me over time and eventually
I start to find it hard to distinguish between things that aren’t really
important versus things that truly are..

I travel a lot and it only compounds
this false sense of urgency. This everyday relentless hustle and bustle has
become the norm for all of us to include our kids.

Gee…Do I really
need to answer those twenty emails, or should I see what the family is up to
tonight? We’ve become so interconnected that in some ways were disconnected
from the things that matter most. I’m first in line to confess…

I’m sure there are those of you who enjoy the pace and aren’t bothered by it in
the least. But I know there are mortals out there who can sympathize with me… So,
I answer my favorite question something like this -“When I sense the lines
of importance blurring I take time out. More often than not, I take time out
anyway. I’ve formed a habit of making myself slow down.”

Turn off the television,
and cell phone, unplug your computer and get back to basics. Time out doesn’t have
to be an extravagant vacation in Rio. Take a
walk – Read a good book – Laugh – Try being bored! You’d be amazed at the results if you just
give it a try. Not just one time, but form a positive habit. Our children emulate what
we do. You could really help them relieve stress now, and into adulthood by showing them how to put on
the brakes and rediscover simplicity.



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Homeschool is not like Little House on the Praire

Some of the most common questions I get asked/emailed revolve around homeschool. Particularly the social and educational aspects. I’ll attempt to briefly cover the educational aspect first – saving the social aspect for later…Homeschool has come a long way, especially in the last few years. 

I think most people’s perceptions of homeschool are that we emulate the Little House on the Prairie stigma… huddled together over meager supplies – doing the best we can with our pittance of crude and outdated information…(I love that show by the way) 

However, contrary to that idea, there are many, many, highly developed, carefully managed, accredited programs that not only keep in line with state run programs, but often surpass them such as: A becka , Connections Academy, or Bridgeway Academy – all of which vary within those guidelines. You simply need to choose the best program for you and your family. 

By no means am I condemning the modern school system or its teachers…Having been in that scenario myself, I understand that teachers are some of the most hardworking people on the planet, hence the site’s free book program.

With that being said, I believe one of the most innovative ideas taught in the homeschool setting are life-skills. We seek to not only educate our children but to provide them with real life circumstances in which to use that knowledge. Therefore, we take it a step further going from book learning to real world circumstances. This is particularly good when you hear your child/teen say, “When will I ever use this!” 

For example: I have a friend who after teaching her children the idea of capitalism, developed a product – made by the entire family – and sold this item out on the street and in the mall for profit. The children not only learned how to market/sell a product, which they’d made themselves…But they had  to learn the back end portion of the business by balancing the books, and buying new materials to keep the business running.

They did quite well and to this day continue to make not only a profit – but have forged a deep understanding within each child of  the learning concepts they wished to impress upon them. 


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Homeschool The Road to Dendura

I’d like to thank Kay Jensen and Cheryl Rund for allowing me to visit their homeschool class. It was my privilege to have been a participant in your Blast off with Books program! It was was not only fun, but exciting and suspenseful as well! 

Each child and/or teen was well versed in their reading and displayed a sincere knowledge and deep understanding of the many topics and questions posed. I absolutely love to see that kind of excitement and energy about reading – not only from the adults – but the kids as well! 

I really enjoyed myself! Thank you so much for inviting me!


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