Battle of the Books


For over twenty-five years, the Paulding County Carnegie Library (PCCL) has sponsored and coordinated a county-wide reading competition called Battle of the Books. Fifth and sixth-grade teams made up of up to six students, read twenty-five books and are then quizzed during a competition first at the school level and then at the county level for the championship. Each school library receives up to ten new books each year. Thanks to the generous donations from area professionals, the cost of the t-shirts and medals are covered. The library is open to donations to purchase the new books for the battle each year. Schools participating have included: Antwerp Elementary, Divine Mercy Catholic School, Grover Hill Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, Payne Elementary, and Paulding Elementary. Home-schooled students have also formed winning teams.  


Objectives of the Battle of the Books

  1. Promote leisure reading
  2. Provide an opportunity for students to read books about a variety of subjects
  3. Prepare students with the skills to help them critique and appreciate good literature
  4. Develop reading comprehension and retention
  5. Enhance the feeling of accomplishment through literary competition


Selection of books for the Battle of the Books

The staff of the PCCL system compiles a reading list each year for the Battle of the Books competition.  There are twenty-five titles on the list that vary from easy to more difficult within the 5th and 6th grade reading level. The books chosen to be included on the Battle of the Books list are not picked at random, but are selected through a very lengthy process. Staff members read the books and compile questions for the competition. The following criteria may be utilized when selecting titles:

  • Literary contribution for both fiction and non-fiction books
  • Popular authors
  • Favorable reviewed works from such publications as:  Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews
  • Award-winning titles (Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Notable Books, Batchelder, etc.)
  • Recommendations from teachers, students, parents
  • Historically important titles


Where are the books for the competition housed?

All titles on the list are available at the main library in Paulding and all branches as well as the Bookmobile. All of the titles are also purchased for each school library through grant money made available by Lafarge Corporation.  A complete book list is given to each school for distribution.  The list is also available on the library website and at all branch locations, including the Bookmobile.  

How does the competition work?

Preliminary competitions are held at each school in the spring and conducted by staff members of the PCCL.  The team with the most points in the final round of the school advances to the county finals, usually held in April or May.   Those teams competing in the county finals receive t-shirts and a number of awards and prizes.     Each book on the Battle of the Books list has been read by a library staff member who compiled ten questions for that book. There are 25 books on the list, so there are a possible 250 questions that could be asked. The competition consists of a series of 20 randomly chosen questions asked alternately between two teams.   Each team has an opportunity to confer with team members. The captain then provides the answer within the 30-second allotted time period. Two points are given for each correct answer. A bonus point is given if the team is able to give the author’s last name.   The questions go back and forth until the 20 questions are asked. In the county finals, the teams compete in the semi-finals first. The team with the most points continues to advance on until there are two teams left. Those two teams battle in the finals to be the champions of Battle of the Books!     The winning school receives a trophy. But, better than the trophy are the “bragging rights” that go to the winner of the Battle of the Books! For more information regarding the Battle, contact Susan Deatrick, head of youth services, at 419-399-2032.    Rules for Battle of the Books are subject to change or revision. Latest revision relating to the number of books on the list was approved April 2019 by the Paulding County Carnegie Library Board of Trustees.


Paulding County Carnegie Library Youth Services

BATTLE OF THE BOOKS TITLES will be announced in the late summer.