Battle of the Books

*Special thanks to Scott Cooper for writing & performing the theme song and creating this wonderful video


Q: In which book did the main character have a curious scar on his forehead that looked like a bolt of lightning?
The answer is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, and that’s one example of a question that might appear in Midland Public Library’s Battle of the Books. Do you have what it takes to help lead your team to book battle glory?

Battle of the Books is a fun, free program where teams from different schools compete against each other to see who knows their books the best. If you want to motivate and challenge students who enjoy reading, form a team and compete against some of the fiercest reading warriors in town.

In April, the Battle of the Books teams from each school will meet for a competition.
The Gold medal winners will be awarded a trophy for their school.

The Battle of the Books will be for students in the Junior division in grades 4 to 6, and in the Intermediate division in grades 7 & 8.

So read, sharpen your wits, practice and above all else, have fun!
Please contact the library for more information.


Dr. Jeff Golisky
Friends of the Library
Barb Kettle

Important Dates

September 16, 2019 – 2020 book lists are released

January 17, 2020 –  Schools must register their teams to participate in the Battle of the Books – Juniors and Intermediates

April 21, 2020 – Junior Battle (daytime)

April 22, 2020 – Intermediate Battle (daytime)

April 28, 2020 – Final Junior Battle 6:00 PM, Final Intermediate Battle 7:00 PM



Junior: One team of six students from grades 4, 5 or 6 will represent each school. A maximum of three team members will be in grade 6. Method of selection of team members is decided by the team coordinator at each school.

NOTE: Up to three substitutes may rotate between the rounds of play. There must never be more than three team members in grade six competing at one time, so keep that in mind when selecting substitute players. No team shall have more than nine players in total (six regular team members and three substitutes).
Each team will have a spokesperson designated by the team coordinator. While the team is encouraged to discuss possible answers, team answers will only be accepted from the spokesperson.

Each Battle round features a Regular Battle and a Lightning Battle.
Regular Battle questions will be addressed to teams alternately, regardless of the last correct answer. There will be 12 Regular Battle questions per round. When asked a question, teams will have 20 seconds to provide the book’s title and 20 to provide the author (see booklist). During this 20-second time period the team to which a question is addressed may have the question repeated as many times as they wish, but this will cut into the allotted time to provide an answer. The team may give a maximum of three title and three author guesses per question via the spokesperson.
Three points will be given if the team correctly identifies the exact title, and three points will be awarded for correctly identifying the author’s surname. The author’s first name does not need to be identified.

The Lightning Battles will be featured at the end of each round. Lightning Battles consist of a 2 minute, 30 seconds time period during which each team is asked up to 12 questions. These questions concern details of the books and will not require teams to identify titles or authors. Each correctly answered Lightning Battle question will be worth three points. In the Lightning Battles, teams submit as many guesses as they wish to each question, but this will use up time. Scores from the Lightning Battles will be added to the scores from the Regular Battles.
If a team disagrees with the moderator’s initial ruling on an answer, the team may challenge the ruling immediately after the Regular question or immediately after the end of the Lightning Battle. A team may only challenge rulings on its own answers. Moderators will either confirm their original ruling or may provide a randomly selected alternative question as a substitution.

When a tie-breaker is necessary, each team in the tie-breaker will be asked extra Lightning Battle questions. The spokesperson must provide one correct answer within twenty seconds. No guesses will be allowed and an incorrect answer will result in elimination. The last team standing wins the tie-breaker round.


  • A warm-up practice question will be given to each team at the beginning of its first Battle.
  • There may be no assistance from the coordinators or audience members. The moderator’s decision will be final in the case of any questionable answer.
    Teams will not be penalized for incorrect answers; in other words, points will not be deducted for incorrect responses.
  • All decisions made by the Battle Committee are final.
  • Any team demonstrating poor sportsmanship will be not be invited back.

Coming September 16, 2019!

Mock Battle

Hey kids! Would you like to suggest a book for future “Battles”?