Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books

Books! Glory! Awesomeness!

Battle of the Books is a team trivia contest based on books. Form your team, read the selected books and prepare to compete!

Registration for Battle of the Books ends January 4.

Battle dates and booklists are selected by age group. Mark your calendar for your battle.

Note: Teams will select their preferred location on the registration form. While we will make every effort to place teams in their first choice, space is limited and placement will be based on a first come, first served basis.

Join the battle! Here’s how:

  1. Form Your Team - Team members must be in grades 6 - 12, with 3 - 5 people per team. Come up with a descriptive team name (you could choose a book theme or incorporate school spirit… the possibilities are endless). Feel free to wear decorated team t-shirts or matching outfits to the Battle!
  2. Select a Team Manager - Your Team Manager should be an adult (18 or older) who can help you get organized. Many teams ask a teacher, parent or school librarian to be their Team Manager. For more information about team managers and their role, click here.
  3. Register for Battle of the Books - Registration closes Monday, January 4, 2016. Please make sure you have all of the necessary team information before registering - you may access the registration form again should you need to make team edits, but only until January 4th.
  4. Prepare for Battle - Find your battle books (see booklists by age group above). Check the Library for lots of copies in multiple print and electronic formats. Look over your specified booklist, and decide how your team is going to split up the books. Is everyone going to read two books? Is everyone going to read all of the books? It's up to you! Meet with your team members to discuss the characters, themes, and settings of the books – the library is a great place for that!
  5. Let the Battle Begin! - Arrive at least 15 minutes early to your designated library location. Teams will be notified of their battle location once registration has closed. Make sure your tables are clear of all belongings, books, and cell phones. There will be three rounds of questions (Easy, Medium, Hard), with a break in-between each round for scoring. For more information on the night of the battle, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What happens on the night of the battle?

  • You will need to arrive at your designated library location at least 15 minutes early so you can sign in and set up. There will be appropriate signage directing you to the meeting room space.
  • Each team will be given one answer sheet per round and two pencils. Teams can choose to have one person be responsible for writing down their team’s answers or they can let the person who knows the answer write it down. They will not each be writing down the answer.
    • The answer sheets are clearly marked. There is space for the team to write their answer to the question and a second space marked “author” where they will write down the author’s last name. If there are two authors for a book, like in the case of graphic novels, we will accept the main author.
  • Rounds: There will be three rounds of questions (Easy, Medium & Hard), with a break in-between each round for scoring and surveys. The Battle Moderator will read each question twice, and then teams will be given 30 seconds to write down their answers. After 30 seconds, the Battle Moderator will ask the next question. At the end of each round, the Battle Moderator will announce the correct answers and the Team Scorekeepers will mark how many points were earned.
    • Every round will have one question from each title on your grade's booklist. The Battle questions will not be interpretive questions. They may relate to a character, the setting, or important events and will have concrete answers. For example: In Rot & Ruin, how old was Benny at the time of "First Night," the zombie apocalypse? Answer – 18 months.
  • Scoring: If your team answers correctly you earn 4 points. Your team can earn one bonus point for each question if you include the author's last name as part of your answer. This means each question is potentially worth 5 points. Answers must be specific. The Moderator and Judges will decide if an answer given is correct, and that decision is final. Scores will be shared at the end of each round, so teams may celebrate their effort.
  • The End: At the end of the rounds, the Judges will tally the final scores. If there is a tie, a lightning round will take place between the tied teams. Once a clear high-scorer has been made, the Battle Moderator will announce the final scores and all teams will be celebrated!

Q: I’m a Team Manager - what do I need to do?

  • A: Help teens form their teams (3 - 5 people per team / grades 6 - 12), register your team(s) here, and help them access the books from their list. Of course you want your team to do well, but the most important thing is for your team members to have fun! Here are some tips for you to consider:
    • Make sure each team member understands which books on the reading list they are expected to read.
    • Meet with the team regularly. Offer encouragement, check on reading progress, foster team spirit, help team members learn author names and discuss the books' characters and settings.
    • Act as the communication link between the library and team members and their parents/guardians with all information regarding the Battle of the Books. Please keep us informed of any team changes (or make changes directly to your online registration). For questions, contact CLP – Teen Services at teens@carnegielibrary.org.
    • Encourage good sportsmanship - and make sure you as a team manager demonstrate the same - before and during the Battle.
    • Help your team members and their families understand the rules of the Battle and expectations the evening of the Battle.
    • Make sure team members arrive 15 minutes early for Battle.

Q: How do you choose the book titles? Can we recommend books for next year?

  • A: Choosing titles for Battle of the Books can be a challenging task! The selected books were chosen based on student feedback from past BOB events, diverse subject matter and characters, representation of a wide variety of genres, and their literary merit. The books were each read, reviewed, and discussed by CLP Teen Specialists. Should you have a concern about one of the titles, please feel free to contact CLP - Teen Services at teens@carnegielibrary.org.
  • One of the activities in-between battle rounds will be a survey on best/worst BOB titles from each grade’s list, as well as a section on the general survey for participants to write their book/genre suggestions!

Q: Why are there three separate dates and locations listed for Battle of the Books?

  • A: There will be three separate Battles, one for each of the following grade levels: 6th grade; 7th & 8th grade; and 9th - 12th grade. Because many participants have friends or siblings competing in more than one battle, we have spread them out a week apart to make it easier for parents/team managers to accommodate the various dates and times.
  • This year, we are incorporating three CLP locations as battle destinations to accommodate more teams and be more accessible to interested participants who cannot commute to the Main (Oakland) Library.

Q: I can’t find the books anywhere / they are all checked out… what do I do?

  • A: We make sure to choose books that already have several copies available in our catalog. CLP-Main, Teen has ordered additional copies, as well as giveaway copies for our multiple battle locations. We also have many of the Battle titles available through eCLP (eBooks & Audiobooks), as a playaway or book on CD! Stop into your local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Ask a Librarian for help finding or reserving a book.

Q: What if my teen doesn’t have their own team - can they still participate?

  • If a teen would like to participate but does not yet have a team, we ask that they email teens@carnegielibrary.org with their full name, email, phone number, school grade, and 1st/2nd/3rd choice location: Squirrel Hill, East Liberty or Beechview. A Teen Specialist will then work with that teen to pair them with a team that has designated their ability to take on additional team members.
  • If a teen is interested in Battle of the Books, but not sure if they have the capability or commitment to participate on a team, there are several opportunities for teens to volunteer on the night of the event (email teens@carnegielibrary.org for more information).

Q: Will special accommodations be made for visually challenged team members?

  • A: If any type of special accommodations are needed, please let us know by February 8, 2016. During the Battle all questions are spoken aloud twice as well as displayed on a projector screen. If a team member has trouble writing the answer within the allotted 30 seconds, another team member may write the answer.

Let the Battle Begin!