battle of the books: about

battle of the books - indiana


Competition Days: 

Thursday, April 5th & Friday, April 6th 2018


Harrison High School

211 Fielding Rd

Evansville, IN 47715

Each round of the competition is called a battle. The competition is a series of approximately 10 battles, where two teams compete against each other at a time. Teams will rotate between battles, and sometimes will have breaks. One coach or assistant coach is required to accompany each team. They will be given a schedule in advance, and will help his/her team know where to be.

The coach will choose 6 of its members to participate in a given battle. Due primarily to space, only team members, coaches, moderators, school officials, committee members, and honored guests will be permitted in the battles. 

What does a battle look like?

Teams sit in two separate huddles, and each team elects a spokesperson. The moderator will ask each team 10 questions, alternating between the two teams. After the moderator asks a question to the first team, the team has 30 seconds to discuss the question and have their spokesperson give an answer. If the answer is incorrect, then the other team gets a chance for a “rebound.” The proctor reads the question again, and the second team has 15 seconds to give an answer.


Each question is worth 5 points (correct book title, author(s) and illustrator). Only the last name of the author or illustrator is required. If the first team gets the question wrong, “rebounds” answered correctly by the opposing team are worth 1 point. The last question of each battle is a free response question and scored in the same fashion: correct response 5 points and rebounds 1 point. See details in Tournament Rules.

At the end of the series of battles, the top two highest scoring teams will be announced at the Readers Celebration as 1st and 2nd place! These two teams will then face each other in a special Readers Celebration Round at the Readers Celebration. The questions will be slightly different in this round, asking for a detail from the book.


There will be prizes awarded to the top two teams, but what they are is a secret!  We think the biggest reward of all, though, is the pride of doing your best in the competition. Our Parade of Readers is to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of every participant.

Questions in the Competition

What kinds of questions are asked?  

For every battle EXCEPT the Readers Celebration Round, the first 9 questions will be in the format: “In which Battle of the Books book…?” The answer is the title and the author of the book. 

A few examples (abbreviating Battle of the Books with B.O.B.):

Question: In which B.O.B. book did a wolf claim to have sneezed?

Correct Answer: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf  by Scieska and Smith

Question: In which B.O.B. book did a guy grow tomatoes to impress a girl?

Correct Answer: Seedfolks by Fleischman

Question: In which B.O.B. book does a boy feel ordinary inside?

Correct Answer: Wonder by Palacio

The last question of every battle will be a free response question. All questions in the Readers Celebration Round will be free response as well.

A few examples:

Free Response Question: In the book Running Out of Time by Haddix, from what disease were the people in Jessie’s town dying?

Answer: Dyptheria.

Free Response Question: In the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, what object ended up killing James' two aunts?

Answer: The peach.

Who writes the questions?

Anyone can submit questions for the regular round battles of the competition. Teams are highly encouraged to submit questions as it is good practice for the students to write them, and they will have a chance of seeing their questions actually appear in the competition!  Readers Celebration Round questions will be created by Battle of the Books chairs & supporting volunteers, and looked over by our “question sifting” volunteers, none of which will be coaches, students, parents, or of any relation to a student in the competition. 

To submit questions, send an email to Please submit groups of 5 or more quality questions at a time.

How do I write quality questions?

Some people like to write questions as they read, and others find this to be cumbersome. You want to enjoy reading as you go!  

Questions should focus on setting, characters, conflict, events, details, and solutions. 

Some questions will be easier than others. Challenging questions are great, but questions that are too obscure will be not be used. Looking at questions that people have created for other Battle of the Books competitions can be very useful for ideas. For example, many people have created questions on Quizlet. See the Activities and Resources page for more information.