Battle of the Books

The Battle of the Books is a reading motivation program for students in grades 3rd – 8th. The goals of the program are to encourage reading for pleasure, broaden reading interest, and recognize students who enjoy reading.

  • Titles are chosen annually, (fifteen each for 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8) by librarians in NJASL.
  • Teams (4-6 students) read the books. This can be done in a time frame of several months.
  • The Battle of the Books is usually held in the spring. It can be done in your school alone or with other schools at an interscholastic battle.
  • Questions are written by librarians in NJASL, 25 regular questions to be used at your school and 15 challenge questions to be used at interscholastic battles for each book.
  • All questions begin with the words “In which book” so a title and author of a book is the answer to each question.

ANY questions about the Battle of the Books should be sent to these BotB Coordinators:

  • Linda Bykowski, 908-851-6397  lbykowski AT twpunionschools DOT org
  • Maureen Stryker, 973-635-0485  mstryker AT chatham-nj DOT org
  • Tricia Keene (Technical), 908-755-4422  pkeane AT watchungschools DOT us

Battle of the Books Event Planning:

  1. Order books – see the lists of books on this page.
  2. Orientation & Team Set-Up
  3. Download the questions from the links below on this page
  4. Talk to librarians from other schools if you want to compete with others.
  5. Hold practice battles with your students using questions that they have written.
  6. Rules are available in the Battle of the Books Handbook.

Download is available on http://njasl.org/BotB

Each set of questions will download to your hard drive as a .zip file labeled with the grade levels, e.g. “BotB_3rd.4th.zip”  Once you open the zip file you will have access to a document with the questions for each title.

Please be aware that volunteers write the questions. These volunteers do not necessarily read all of the books before writing the questions for one or more of the books so we cannot guarantee that the questions are not duplicated in another book. The only way we could do that is if all volunteers read all books before writing questions, and that would be very difficult since the librarians who write the questions do so in the summer shortly after the new titles are announced. We suggest that each librarian who participates in the program be familiar with all of the books for his/her grade level and check the questions for duplication before using them.

The questions consist of regular and challenge questions. Since there are no hard and fast rules regarding the use of the questions, it is suggested that the regular questions be used for in -house battles, and the challenge ones for interscholastic battles. The best procedure is to discuss this with the other schools against whom you are battling. It is imperative, however, that students do not see these questions before the actual competition.

Finally, we are always looking for people to participate in the selection of titles and to help write questions for the new books each year. The more people who volunteer, the less the burden on everyone else. If you would be willing to volunteer, contact one of the coordinators in the spring.

Thank you for promoting this wonderful reading program. Have a great year!


9 thoughts on “Battle of the Books

  1. 1. Log in to the NJASL.org site with your membership email and password.
    2. Go to http://njasl.memberlodge.org/BotB.
    3. Click on the hyperlink to the specific grade levels you need. A .zip file will then download to your hard drive labeled with the grade levels, e.g. “BotB_3rd.4th.zip”
    4. Once you open the zip file you will have access to a document with the questions for each title.

  2. Please contact the Coordinators with any questions about the BotB contests:

    Linda Bykowski, 908-851-6397 lbykowski AT twpunionschools DOT org
    Maureen Stryker, 973-635-0485 mstryker AT chatham-nj DOT org
    Tricia Keene (Technical), 908-755-4422 pkeane AT watchungschools DOT us

  3. Booksmiths has come out with a list of the 2012-2013 Battle books. I don’t see the list here on the NJASL website. Would their titles be the same as will appear here later on? I need to know because we sometimes include the titles in summer reading suggestions. Thank you.

  4. Please ask the BotB coordinators! The webmasters do not have that information … and cannot post it until/unless someone send it to us for posting.

  5. Maureen Stryker is no longer a coordinator for Battle of the Books. Please replace her information with mine. Thank you.

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