Frequently Asked Questions
What are Book Battles?
Book Battle programs are competitions similar to jeopardy or whiz quiz games but questions come from a controlled list of books that participants read in preparation for the matches. Book Battles are a great way to get kids involved in reading and friendly competition.
How does it work?
Teams are made up of three to four students from grades 4-6. Books titles are selected based on reading levels and interests of all participants. Team members can be from the same grade or mixed grades, classes, scout troop, home school group, etc. All team members should be active participants and be aware that they are signed up on a team. Once a team has been formed and officially registers at the library, changes cannot be made.
What if my local library only has one team? How do we compete?
If a local public library only has one team representing them, the team can stage a mock battle at their library to practice for the regional battle, or join up with another public library and compete with their team(s) on the local level. Every public library can send one team to represent them at the regional battle, regardless of their performance at the local level.
Who is responsible for the team?
A parent or other adult can serve as team coach, but it is up to the team members to make sure that they read the books on the list. An adult contact person is required for scheduling purposes, though that person may choose to what extent they wish to act as a coach for the team.
Who must be present on battle days?
All team members show up for all the matches. A team captain is also necessary for each team. Only one person can give the answers during the actual match. The team can confer with each other, but it is the captain that gives the answer. An adult contact person must be in attendance on battle days. Family and friends are welcome to attend and watch all battles!
How are books selected for the book list?
Books are chosen by the committee members during late summer. Considerations when selecting titles for the list include reading level, popularity/appeal, diversity, awards received, promotion of excellent titles that may not be well known, the number of available copies of each title in the NCLS catalog, and availability of paperback, e-book, or audio copies.
Who writes the questions?
A committee of public librarians from around the North Country writes the questions for the local and regional battles.
Will there be enough copies of the titles to go around?
Libraries are encouraged to add the books on the list to their collections, as they should reflect popular or classic titles, as well as great books in general. Every effort will be made to acquire e-books, when available.
How are the actual Book Battles structured?
• Each match lasts approximately 15-30 minutes and contains 20 questions (10 per team, alternating).
• A coin toss determines which team goes first.
• Each team has 20 seconds to answer questions directed to them.
• Questions are all in the same format – “In what book...?”
• Answers are always in the form of the title and author of the book. The correct title is worth 5 points, and the author’s full name is worth 3 points for a maximum of 8 points per question.
• If an answer or partial answer cannot be furnished by a team, the other team has five seconds to answer and get the remaining points for that question.
• A running score is not necessary, though the timekeeper may tell teams the score halfway through the match.
For more information on the way battles are structured, see the Rules of Play.
What about prizes?
Prizes vary, depending on location. Check with your local librarian!
Who travels to the Regional Battle?
Only the first place team will travel on to represent each local battle in the Regional Tournament. Anyone is welcome to come cheer their friends on!