Battle of the Books is a reading competition that takes place between various independent schools in the area. All McDonogh Middle School students are encouraged to participate. Early in the year, the librarian introduces Middle School students to the Battle of the Books list. There are a fifth/sixth-grade list and a seventh/eighth-grade list. Students read as many of the books as they can, but must read at least three books on the list to compete. In the spring, students compete to form the final battle teams that represent each grade level.
The BOB competition rewards readers with participating in an exciting “It’s Academic” – style quiz show. After reading a variety of books selected by the independent school librarians, battlers compete in teams to answer questions formatted “In which book…” If they know the book's name, they receive points. They receive additional points if they know the author, too. Excitement builds as the battle heats up. BOB is even more fun when the competition goes beyond the classroom to the big competition at an area independent school.
The activity aims to increase readers’ motivation to read, to boost their comprehension, and to broaden their choice of reading material. BOB has done all of that since it was introduced at McDonogh over ten years ago.