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What is Battle of the Books or BoB?


Battle of the Books, a program that encourages reading by all students at the secondary level, originated from a public radio program in the 1940s and was introduced to North Carolina libraries in the USA in 1981. Mr. Bryant McEntire (Blue Pool Road) brought the idea to Hong Kong when he arrived in August 2000. Since its introduction, enthusiasm has spread from school-wide battles to city wide battles. This year over 12 Hong Kong international schools with over 240 students are formally participating in the program with many others enthusiastically reading the lists for pleasure.
Through the Battle of the Books competition, students are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors in the area of young adult literature. Students answer questions from 20 to 27 different book titles in a quiz-bowl type format. Each team battles each of the other teams. The team with the highest point total at the end wins the competition.
There are 12 questions each round. Each team has 20 seconds to answer their question. If they fail to render an answer in the time allotted or if they miss an answer, the question goes to the other team for 10 seconds. Questions posed the first time are worth 3 points if both title and author are given correctly. Questions posed a second time only require the correct title be given and are only worth 2 points. Please note that no individual student is ever put on the spot in this type of competition. It is “user friendly” and fun. If a student fails to give the correct answer then is a failure for the whole team since collectively they had time to collaborate before the answering.