FAQs (Battle of the Books 2014)

What is Battle of the Books (BOB)?
Battle of the Books is a contest of reading and retention skills for kids going into 4th, 5th and 6th grades (i.e. Any student finishing 3rd, 4th or 5th grade this spring). Teams read books and quiz each other about what they read in a “Battle of the Books.”

How do I participate in BOB?
Each student who wishes to participate in BOB must submit a registration form by July 1, 2014. Print copies are also available at the children's desk.

How does BOB work?
There are two levels: kids going into 4th grade and kids going into 5th OR 6th grade (combined team & battle). Each level has its own book list and battles. Each team reads a number of books from the designated book list provided by the library and must create questions inspired by the books read. For each book read, at least two questions must be submitted to the library. These questions are used for the book battle. The questions are read by the moderator during the battle and if the designated team answers the question correctly, they earn a point. If that team doesn’t provide the correct answer, the question is then posed to all the teams at once.  The first team to hit the buzzer gets a chance to answer. Whichever team answers the question correctly gets the point. Book battles are held over two consecutive weeks. The total number of points from both weeks’ competition is added up and the team with the most points wins. Question forms are available both online and in print at the children's desk.

When are the battles?
The battles are Wednesday, July 30 and Wednesday, August 6th. 4th grade at 6:30; 5th and 6th grade at 7:30 pm.

Must I come to both battle nights?  
No, but you should discuss that with your team.

How do I get on a team?
Teams can be made up of students who already know each other and wish to create their own team (schoolmates, neighbors, friends, scouting troops, etc.) or teams can consist of any individual students who wish to participate (children’s librarian Elizabeth Schwertfuehrer will place these students on a team).  Anyone can join; you do not need to have a ready-made team.  If you create your own team, please indicate as such on your registration form. Each team needs a coach, so you should ask a grown-up to be your coach. There is information for coaches at the library. After everyone who wants to participate has registered, Elizabeth will create the final line-up of teams to make sure that every student has a team and that every team has a coach.  Registration closes on July 1, 2014.

How do I know when I’ve been placed on a team/my team is formed?
The deadline for accepting registration forms is July 1, 2014. Most teams will not be finalized until after the 8th of July.  Elizabeth will contact you.

How many people can be on one team?
The team size is not restricted; however, an ideal size is between 5 and 8 students.  

How many teams can participate?
We can have only eight teams for each level. The first eight teams to be formed for each level will get the available slots for the book battles.

When do I start reading?
Book lists will be published by June 1. There is a special BOB book cart in the children's library with the available copies. You should not wait for a book to be available on the cart. If a book is not available at Mt. Lebanon Public Library, please request it from another library. You can do this from the library website or by talking with a librarian.  You can even request or renew books on your smartphone or tablet. Take advantage of the shared books!  Ebooks and audiobooks work as well!

Do I have to read all of the books on the list?
NO! No one team member has to read all of the books. If you choose to, that’s great. A team reads the entire BOB book list as a group effort. Team members can decide among themselves who will read what, though every team member should read at least one title. When the reading is finished, as preparation for the battle, it is important to share your knowledge of the book you read and the questions you wrote with your team.

How many questions do I write?
At least two questions for each book you read. Questions should be general in nature – not too specific! Submit them to the library as you read the books. More than two questions per book is encouraged. The more questions available, the better the battle. Please use the question forms provided by the library and put only one question/answer on each form as these are used in the actual battle and each question needs its own sheet. Question sheets must be submitted at least three days before the battle. (Question forms are available both online and in print at the children's desk.)

How do I get the books?
You can check them out from the designated BOB book cart at the Mt. Lebanon Library OR request them through the county-wide library system. This can be done from home or by seeing a library staff member. Remember that you should not wait until the book is available on the BOB book cart. You might get it faster if you request it from another library. Again, you can do this by visiting the library website or by talking with a librarian. Many of the titles are also available as ebooks or audiobooks.

How do we have team meetings?
Coaches are responsible for coordinating team meetings. The library is a great place to meet!

What if I have more questions?
Ask to speak with Children’s Librarian Elizabeth Schwertfuehrer. The easiest way to reach her is to send her an email at schwertfuehrere@einetwork.net.