F.A.Q., Rules & Helpful Hints

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is the contact at the schools?

The contact at each school will be the principal of that school unless otherwise designated before the Battle year begins.  If a home schooled team competes, a representative chosen by the parents/guardians will be the contact. The library staff will communicate through e-mail and phone calls to the contact when necessary.


What if a teacher, student, parent, principal or any other person has a suggestion to make regarding the Battle?

Suggestions are welcome, but must be submitted in writing via e-mail or letter to the Youth Services Department of the PCCL or the director of the library. No phone calls will be accepted.


What happens if a school, parent, principal, teacher or student objects to a book on the list?

Each title on the list is selected using the same criteria used by the PCCL system when choosing materials.  The library has a procedure in place for the reconsideration of materials.  Children’s literature spans a multitude of subject matter and may address a number of both contemporary and historical social issues.  All material chosen is material recommended and reviewed for students of the competing age-group.


Questions compiled for each book will be randomly asked during a competition.  If a team has not read a title, for whatever reason, they may still be asked a question about that book.  In a sense, it is the “luck of the draw” as to what question is asked to which team.


How are teams selected?

  1. Students may pick their teams consisting of no more than 6 members per team, with one student per team designated as a spokesperson.  Teachers will oversee this process.
  2. All 5th and 6th graders are encouraged and have the right to participate.
  3. Each team can be made up of 5th or 6th graders or a combination of both.
  4. Home schooled children living in Paulding County in the 5th and 6th grades may also form teams.  The preliminary competition and elimination round for home schooled teams will be held at the Paulding County Carnegie Library.
  5. Teams should be selected by November 1st. 
  6. Teachers should send a typed copy of the team names and members to the Paulding County Carnegie Library, 205 S. Main St., Paulding, OH 45879, by February 1st.
  7. Please put an asterisk beside the team spokesperson’s name. Failure to meet announced deadlines may result in the loss of the school’s privilege to participate in the Battle.

What are the prizes?

All team members receive a certificate recognizing their participation in this important event.  Teams in the final competition receive t-shirts.  Winning team members receive awards such as ribbons or medals.  The winning school receives a trophy and “bragging rights”.  Home school winning teams will have their trophy on display at the Paulding County Carnegie Library.  Other prizes may include books, bookmarks and other reading incentives. All children participating in the Battle of the Books receive the rewards of reading books that transport them to another world, adventure and time through the imagination and the power of words.



  1. Preliminary competitions will be held at each school and will be conducted by staff members of the Paulding County Carnegie Library (PCCL).  All battles at the schools will be completed the day of competition unless otherwise announced by the library staff.
  2. Absolutely no recording of the Battle will be permitted. This includes writing down the questions as they are asked, videotaping and sound recording.
  3. Any coaching from the audience to a player or team will result in the immediate disqualification of that member or team.
  4. The order of competition is determined through a drawing.
  5. The school team with the most points during the final school round will advance to the final county competition.
  6. Ten questions are compiled for each book.  There are 50 books on the Battle of the Books list.  Twenty-five titles are from the previous year and twenty-five titles are selected for the current year. Occasionally the Battle will consist of 50 new titles with no holdovers from the previous year.
  7. Twenty randomly picked questions are asked to each team on an alternate basis.
  8. Each team has 30 seconds after a question is read to confer and decide an answer, which is then given by the team’s captain. Answers will only be accepted from the team captain.
  9. Team captains must answer loudly and clearly so that they may be heard by the judges. If the judge has to ask for an answer to be repeated, it comes out of their 30 second allotment.
  10. A team may ask for the question to be repeated, but the time will come out of their 30 second allotment.
  11. If the question is answered correctly then the team has ten seconds to provide the name of the author. The team must give the last name of the author. If the question is incorrect, the opposing team has an opportunity to answer the question, or, “steal”.  The question will be re-read to the opposing team and they will have 30 seconds to confer and answer the question. If a team “steals” a question, they may not receive an extra point by naming the author. Only one (1) point can be earned by stealing a question.
  12. If there is a tie at the end of 20 questions, 10 additional random questions will be asked of the competing teams.
  13. Each correct answer is worth 1 point, and each correct author is worth 1 point.
  14. Teams may choose to pass on a question if they do not know the answer, but it is strongly advised to at least make a guess.
  15. The final competition will be held at a “to be determined” date and location and will be open to parents and guests.
  16. The PCCL system will provide the judges, timekeeper, scorekeeper and designated spokesperson for each competition.
  17. The PCCL staff will determine the brackets for competition.
  18. The decision of the judges regarding the correctness of an answer is final. The spokesperson (staff member asking the questions), the timekeeper and the scorekeeper will be the official judges of the competition. They will consult together if there is a question on the correctness of an answer. The majority of the three will determine the ruling. If they cannot decide a ruling, they will confer with a sideline judge (another PCCL team member) for an opinion. The judges’ decision is final.


Helpful Hints:

  • Consider making a note card for each book with title, author, main theme, characters and any obvious points
  • Encourage all team members to memorize the titles and authors
  • Divide the titles among the team fairly keeping in mind the length of the book and the reading level of team members
  • Try to encourage team members to read their Battle Books for pleasure and enjoy the literary experience
  • Use school or academic holidays to catch up on reading