• Battle of the Books


    Dear Parents/Guardians,

     Your child is interested in joining Battle of the Books.  Below you will find information concerning how Battle of the Books is ran so you can help your child prepare for the competition.

    What is Battle of the Books?

    Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program designed to introduce students to good literature in a fun and engaging way.  It’s a district competition between intermediate students (4th and 5th grade) involving all six elementary schools.  Independently, students read a selected list of 12 books.  In teams of five, students memorize story elements and factual details from each story and answer practice questions.  One final team will represent SES at the district competition in April.


    Here’s how it works:

    1. Teams consist of five members each (see forming teams below).
    2. Once a team has been established, members are expected to remain on the team until the competition is complete.
    3. Team members choose one member to act as captain.
    4. Captain should be someone willing to take on a leadership role (the job of a captain is explained later on in the letter).
    5. Together team members are responsible for reading all 12 books on the list.
    6. Each team member needs to be responsible for reading at least 3 books on the list with the intent of becoming an expert on their chosen books. Each team member MUST read at least three books in order to sign-up on a team.
    7. Deadline for teams to sign-up is Friday, February 1, 2019. There are four clipboards for signing up:  One for teams of 5, one for teams of 2, one for teams of 3 and one for individuals. Only captains can sign up their team. Sign-ups are during their library check-out time starting January 2nd and ending February 1st.
    8. In February (date to be determined) there will be a general meeting during lunch to explain how practices will work and to do a few practice questions. I will send home a competition schedule at that time.
    9. One group will compete on Mondays and the other group will compete on Wednesdays until we merge into one group.  They will bring their lunch into the library during their lunch time to compete.
    10. They will compete for several weeks before I start eliminating teams.  The team that wins our school competition will represent SES at the district competition on Friday, April 26th at Cascade View Elementary School from 10:00 to 11:00.
    11. Each school is allowed to bring their top four scoring teams (20 students) to the district competition.
    12. I will not reschedule a competition day if someone is absent. Teams will have to compete with absent members.


    Forming Teams:

    The following rules were established at the district level:

    --Can form a team of 5 (no more than 3 from one class)

    --Can form a team of 3 (I will put you with a group of 2 if possible)

    --Can form a team of 2 (I will put you with a group of 3 if possible)

    --Teams of 2 or 3 will not compete as team; must be in a group of 5


    Sample question:

    All questions start the same way:  In which book . . .  

                    Example:  In which book did someone get lost in a cave?

    All answers are given as one of the titles on the list.  They are not able to look at a list of books when practicing or competing.


    Captain Responsibilities:

    1. Make sure everyone on their team has read and is an expert on three books.
    2. Gives the answers during the competition.
    3. Can ask to have a question repeated.
    4. Gives messages to team members from Mrs. McEldowney.
    5. Makes sure team members show up for the practices and are well behaved.
    6. Encourages their team to have a positive attitude and makes sure everyone works together.



    -There will be NO CHALLENGES.

                  -The decision of the judge (Mrs. McEldowney) is final and cannot be challenged.



                    If you misbehave during a practice or competition you will be given only one warning.  The

                    next time you misbehave after the warning, you will be sent outside.  If you are sent outside

                    twice you are no longer in Battle of the Books.  You may no longer compete or come to the pizza



    It is the choice of the team members involved if they want to meet outside of school to practice for the competition.  It is not required.


    On the day of the competition, the whole school gathers in the hallways for a send-off parade for all Battle of the Books participants.  Our own SES 5th grade band plays in the parade, too.  It’s a lot of fun! 


    Questions can come from anywhere in a book including:  preface, chapter titles, author names, author notes in the back of the book, maps, diagrams, etc.


    Mrs. McEldowney

    SES Teacher-Librarian