Battle of the Books!
The purpose of the Battle of the Books program is to encourage reading by all
students at the middle school level. Students, regardless of ability, are exposed
to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by
prominent authors in the area of young adult literature. The game format creates
interest and excitement in reading. Through the fun and excitement of the
competition, students improve reading skills, mature in their choices of reading
materials, and acquire a broader knowledge base. Even during the height of the
competition, students and coaches should remember that the goal is to READ,
not necessarily to win!
North Carolina's Battle of the Books can be traced back to a public radio program
in Chicago in the 1940s originated by Ruth Harshaw. Librarians exposed to the
original show reconstructed the game to encourage reading today.
Michael Leonard, an Illinois native, first introduced the contest in Onslow County
when he accepted the position of Children's Librarian for the Onslow County
Public Library. His rationale for placing it at the sixth grade level was the dearth
of activities in the public library and in the public schools for this aged child. In
1981, Onslow County Public Library sponsored the first North Carolina Battle of
the Books contest for sixth graders.
The North Carolina Association of School Librarians assumed sponsorship of
Battle of the Books in 1991. In 2000, the North Carolina School Library Media
Association (NCSLMA) became a sponsor of Battle of the Books, and
independent schools became a region for competition. The first state
competition of Battle of the Books was held in 2001-2002. NCSLMA coordinates
the program on a statewide basis.
Swansboro Middle School Battle of the Books Timeline...
August-September- Any student who is interested in participating in Battle of the Books should get a list of titles and begin reading.
October- Listen to the announcements and look for advertisements in the library and on the web site! Fill out an online application/interest form to let Mrs. Sweeting know you are interested in trying out for the team. Since we are limited to 12 team members, a test will be given to determine which students are most familiar with the books. Students must also get a teacher recommendation.
November- The team will be selected. There will be a few meetings during the advisory period so that we can get to know our team members and the rules of play. MyBobTeam logins will be assigned. Students should be practicing on their own time!
December- Team members will be assigned a group of "focus books." They should become experts in these books and know them in detail. Students should read their focus books more than once. Additional books should be read or reviewed over winter break.
January-February- We will practice as a team during advisory and after school several days a week.
The county competition will be in February. Stay tuned for the specific date.