Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books challenges students grades four through six to become familiar with literature. Comprehension and retention are put to the test in a Jeopardy-style battle. Area schools create their own teams and gather at the library to compete in a five week battle on questions derived from twenty selected books. Battle books are chosen by Eisenhower librarians, Battle Coaches, and participating students.

If you are a student in grade four through six and would like to participate in Battle of the Books, please see your school’s Battle Coach to sign up.

Watch the Kids World Blog for updated notices and posts regarding the Battle season. It is also the place to look for updates on your team’s score during the competition.

The dates for the 2019-2020 Battle Season are as follows:

  • Practice Battle, February 12, 4:00 PM
  • Battle 1, February 19, 4:00 PM
  • Battle 2, February 26, 4:00 PM
  • Battle 3, March 04, 4:00 PM
  • Battle 4, March 11, 4:00 PM
  • Battle 5, March 184:00 PM
  • Battle Awards Ceremony, April 01, 4:00 PM

Please meet in the Library’s second floor meeting room for the scheduled Battles.

Battle contestants may be required to attend additional team meetings. These dates are set by each school’s Battle Coach and the participants will meet at their school. Please see your Battle Coach regarding any questions about additional team meeting dates.

2019-2020 Books

Returning Titles

Strongheart by Candace Fleming
A German shepherd is transformed from Etzel, a police dog in Berlin, to Strongheart, a silent movie star that will need his best acting skills to prove himself innocent of attacking a girl.
Book | eBook | Author’s Website

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys–an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.

Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he’s willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming.

Just as he’s getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger. And if Jonathan can’t come to terms with the sins of his past and lead his new friends to safety… then every boy on the island is doomed.
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
Book| eBook | Author’s Website

Restart by Gordon Korman
Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids–trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed, but can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audio | Author’s Website

Kids Choice

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.
Book| eBook | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Librarian and Coach’s Choices

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
After eleven-year-old Ollie’s school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive.
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Rising Water by Marc Aronson
The incredible true story of the twelve boys trapped with their coach in a flooded cave in Thailand and their inspiring rescue.
Book | Author’s Website

New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds–and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
Book | eBook | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis
Thirteen-year-old Amelie Day loves to bake so she’s thrilled when she’s invited to compete in the Best Teen Baker of the Year contest. But Amelie has Cystic Fibrosis, and some days she can barely breathe. Determined not to let her condition or her mom stop her from taking part, Amelie musters all her Flour Power. But will it be enough to get her to the top?

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff
Fifth-grader Winnie, with notes from her friends, writes of turning her treehouse into an embassy after her newly-divorced parents become unreasonable, where she is joined by nine others with complaints.
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
A fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Beast Rider by Tony Johnston
Having faced great danger, twelve-year-old Manuel finally succeeds in hopping a train out of Mexico but after reuniting with his brother in Los Angeles, he realizes something is not right.
Book | eBook

Rules by Cynthia Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.
Book | eBook | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Time Museum: Volume 1 by Matthew Loux
Science-loving Delia Bean is expecting to have a pretty boring summer vacation looking after her little brother. But when her Uncle Lyndon offers her an internship in his Earth Time Museum, everything begins to look a lot better!
Book | Author’s Website

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos
Autistic and nearly nonverbal, twelve-year-old Nova is happy in her new foster home and school, but eagerly anticipates the 1986 Challenger launch, for which her sister, Bridget, promised to return.
Book | Author’s Website

What Was the Great Chicago Fire? by Janet B. Pascal
On Sunday, October 8, 1871, a fire started on the south side of Chicago. A long drought made the neighborhood go up in flames. And practically everything that could go wrong did. Firemen first went to the wrong location. Fierce winds helped the blaze jump the Chicago River twice. The Chicago Waterworks burned down, making it impossible to fight the fire. Finally after two days, Mother Nature took over, with rain smothering the flames. This overview of a stupendous disaster not only covers the fire but explores the whole history of fire fighting.
Book | eBook | Series Website

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
In Pakistan, Amal holds onto her dream of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family’s debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family.
Book | eBook Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson
Oliver “Spaghetti-O” Jones’s dad is about to be jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, and Oliver believes the only way to save him is with the help of his favorite lucha-libre wrestler turned action star, Tito the Bonecrusher. Together with his best friend, Brianna (a.k.a. “Brain”), and their new ally Paul “Popcorn” Robards, Oliver devises a madcap plan to spring his dad from a Florida correctional facility.

Nightbooks by J. A. White
Imprisoned by Natacha, a witch, in a New York apartment, Alex must tell her a new scary story every night in order to stay alive.
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
Book | eBook | Audiobook CD | Download Audiobook | Author’s Website

Battle Guidelines

Reading Requirements

Each member of the team must read the minimum number of books based on their grade level to participate in Battle. There are 20 books on the list, so team members are encouraged to read more than the minimum.

  • 4th Grade = six books minimum
  • 5th Grade = seven books minimum
  • 6th Grade = eight books minimum


To sign up to do Battle of the Books, please see your school’s Battle Coach. Each team will be required to pay $25.00 for food. Battle Coaches, please bring this amount by the first Battle.

The Battle Itself

Arrival Time
Battle begins at 4:00pm. Please be in the room at least 10 minutes before the start time.  Anyone who arrives once the Battle has begun will have to wait until the break in order to join their team. We would also like to remind parents of the “No Stopping or Child Pick Up” sign by the Library entrance. Please pull up further into the parking lot to drop off children. This way you will not block traffic behind you.

Seating Arrangement
Each team will have a pre-assigned location. The locations rotate with each Battle, so please look for your team’s spot ahead of time. Ten people can battle at any time. If your team has more than 10 participants, team changes happen during the break only.

If your school has two teams, the players must stay with one team. For example, if you are part of Team Red, you cannot switch to play with Team Blue.

Coaches will have reserved seats in the front row. Coaches should let Library staff know ahead of time if they will need one or two seats reserved.

Answer Pages
Each team area will have a clipboard on which to write your answers. Please choose one team member (the Runner) to bring the answer sheets to the scoring table.

Questions and Point Values
There will be two sets of Jeopardy style questions per Battle followed by a short 10 minute speed round. The value of the question shows you how long your answer should be.

For example, if I say a question is worth one point, then the answer should be one word or letter. If the question is worth two points, then you need at least two words. If it is worth five points, you need five words. You can write more words than you need, but watch the clock. When it buzzes, you cannot write anything more.

In a multiple point value question partial credit will be awarded based on the answer provided.

Snacks and Breaks
We will take a break after the first round, about halfway through the Battle. Snacks and drinks will be provided, but please be careful of spills and garbage. If you run out of time to eat your snack, you can leave it on the snack table with your name on it. There is no eating or drinking during the Battle.

Please notify the Kids World staff about all allergies or food restrictions before the first practice Battle.

Electronic Devices
Electronic devices (such as cell phones or Nintendo games) must be shut off and may not be used during Battle. This includes spectators. Please take all such devices to the lobby outside the Battle room.

If a team member must leave during Battle, please arrange the absence with the coach. Please let us know at the beginning of Battle when you need to leave.

The best thing you can do for your team is to encourage each other. Please avoid negative comments, facial expressions, or gestures against your teammates or against the opposing teams. Penalty points can be awarded for unsportsmanlike behavior. Also be careful of loud talking. Other teams could steal your answers. If your team is too loud, you could be awarded penalty points.

If a team is caught being too noisy or being unsportsmanlike, they will be given a warning (red circle). If staff have to talk that team again, the circle becomes a negative point, and subsequent negative points can be awarded. If five negative points are awarded during the Battle, the team will be disqualified from participating in the rest of the round. Points from previous games are unaffected—that is, no points are deducted from previous rounds.

Time Outs
Coaches will be given TIME OUT cards in order to correct a problem with their team, or permit a student to leave early. Each team has three one-minute T/O’s during a Battle. Coaches, please call “TIME OUT” and wave the card until staff acknowledge you. Please use the card at an appropriate pause: after points have been awarded, not in the middle of the question.

Teams are allowed to issue challenges. For example, if a question is worth 3 points and your team earns only one point, you may challenge the answer for the other two points. If a team wishes to challenge an answer, they must announce the challenge at the time of the question. Don’t wait.

Write on the answer sheet which book/answer you are challenging. If a challenge is accepted, we will review the challenge after the Battle has ended. The following week, we will award points at the beginning of the Battle–if your challenge is successful.

We try to have two staff members present at each Battle who have read all 20 of the Battle books in order to accept or deny challenges. The last Battle cannot have challenges.