NOTE: Pikes Peak Library District does not have displays of books for the national America's Battle of the Books. Area school districts have their own competitions.
If your school doesn’t participate in an annual America’s Battle of the Books competition, please contact the school’s administration and find out why. If it’s due to a lack of adult volunteers, consider donating time so that children at your neighborhood school can participate.
Battle of the Books is a program that encourages children to read some of the world’s best children’s books by some of the most celebrated authors. The Battle of the Books list includes 40 books, and some enthusiastic participants actually read all books.
Normally, a staff member at individual schools will form a team of readers. These readers divide the book list, so that one child might be required to read only a fraction of the books.
At some schools, the number of children who want to participate is so large that multiple teams are formed. These teams battle each other until a team is chosen to represent the school.
Battles consist of answering comprehension questions from the books. The questions are asked Family Feud-like style and demonstrate the team’s knowledge of the books. Whether teams go on to participate in district and regional competitions is often left to the discretion of administrators. I have attended advanced competitions in our region, and they are entertaining, heated matches.
If you and your child do not have time to participate in Battle of the Books, but would like to read the books chosen for the program, look no further than your local library branch. All of the branches I’ve recently visited have specially marked shelves with the Battle of the Books books.
I have read several of the books and have not been disappointed with any of them, nor have my children been disappointed. In fact, two of my children are Battle of the Books judges this year, and, as such, are required to read all 40 books.
My personal favorites among the list include “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “Trumpet of the Swan” and “A Single Shard.”
“Tale of Despereaux” is also on the list. This is an exceptionally good book, the perfect read-aloud for a family with children from ages 6-12. I feel compelled to mention the book specifically, because the movie was, in my opinion, horrible. If you watched the movie, you might be inclined to skip the book. Please don’t. And if at all possible, don’t let your children skip America’s Battle of the Books, either.
Miller welcomes book suggestions. Read her
blog at www.anitalaydonmiller.blogspot.com
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.