Recap of the Battle of The Books Competitions

On the last three Tuesdays of February, Obama sent 11 teams to the Carnegie Library in East Liberty, to compete in the annual Battle of the Books. Every team consisted of 4-5 students and each had their own custom-made T-shirt, based on the teams’ names and logos. The room was full of young, enthusiastic readers thinking hard to answer as many questions correctly as possible. There was food, laughter, and a tension in the air fueled by competitiveness and nerves. Not to brag, but some of our students were even the faces of the Battle’s social media hashtag! Although none of our teams won the 1st place trophy, we all had fun and did our best. We learned from our mistakes this year and plan to win next time. Unfortunately, we will probably have a smaller number of teams next year, seeing as some of our students didn’t read all of the books that their teams assigned them. Anyway, great job to all of our teams and we hope to see some of you next year, whether that be on a team or in the crowd at the Battles!

For those of you who don’t know, the competition is broken up into three grade levels: 6th grade, 7th and 8th grade, and high school (9th-12th grades). Each battle consists of three rounds, with 10 questions per round. That means that in every round, there is one question about each of the ten books that the teams in that grade level have been assigned to read. There is also a sheet of paper on which each team had to write the authors of all the books for 10 extra points (each question in every round is equal to 5 points, so the highest score anyone could get overall would be 160). At the end of each round, the team would hand in their answer papers and the judges (2-3 librarians from another library, depending on where the battle takes place), would tally up the scores. Then, they would reveal the answers to all the questions in the previous round. If a team is uncertain on whether their answer is valid or not, they may ask the judges and, if deemed invalid, they can then challenge the judges and try to prove them wrong (it happens all the time!). The team with the highest combined score after all the rounds wins.

Here are the teams from this year’s Battles:

6th Grade:

  • Purple Unicorns
  • Spoons
  • Myths and Legends

7th and 8th Grades

  • Stranger Readers
  • Project MK Ultra
  • Holyhead Harpies

9th – 12th Grades (HS)

  • Bread and Butter
  • Pastafarians
  • Hot Damn We’re in a Jam!
  • Four and A Half Men
  • Lil Fetuses