Idaho Battle of the Books is like sports, but for books!


Idaho Battle of the Books, IBOB, is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program open to all Idaho students in grades 4-12, regardless of ability. IBOB is meant to expose students to quality literature representing a variety of genres, literary styles, and viewpoints. The mission of the program is to recognize students who enjoy reading, share the love of reading with students who have not yet discovered that for themselves, broaden reading interests, increase reading comprehension, encourage academic excellence, and promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students. 

There are 3 grade level divisions: Elementary, Middle/Junior High, and High School. In each division, students create teams of 4 (can be 2-5), read the preselected books and discuss them between October and December. In January, teams will battle against other teams at their school/site in a “quiz show” format. Each battle consists of 16 total questions. The first 8 are “In which book” questions whose answers require both the title and author of the book. The second 8 are “Content” questions where the title and author are stated in the question, and the team must correctly answer a specific question about that book. Levels of competition begin at the school or local library level, then continue to regional tournaments, and ultimately a state competition (as those levels are developed with the growth of this program in Idaho). 

Each year in April, the new list of titles for each grade level are released. Elementary (4-6) and Middle/Junior High (6-9) divisions have 16 titles and High School (9-12) has 12 titles. These lists are compiled each year by the Selection Committee based on the “Criteria for the Selection of Titles.” IBOB participants/parents can also nominate titles at designated times for the committee’s consideration. Every attempt is made to vary the titles chosen according to genre and difficulty so that readers will enjoy a broad range of books. Care is also taken to ensure a diversity of people, places, and ideas among the chosen titles so that students discover the diversity of our world reflected in the pages of the books. It is not the goal or purpose of IBOB to endorse nor censor titles solely based on race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation of the character(s) or author(s) of a book.

The titles for the elementary division for the 2023-2024 school year are:

Have more questions? See official IBOB handbook here

General Player and Team Rules 

● All students participating in the elementary division must be in grades 4-6 for the current school year. Team members do not have to be in the same grade. 

● Students must participate within the school they are registered at, unless competing through a public library team. Students who are dual-enrolled at multiple schools may create/join a team from either of the schools at which they are officially registered. 

● Each team must have a coach (sponsor). This can be a librarian from a public library, or a representative from the team’s school who is either the library media specialist, library paraprofessional, teacher, staff member, or volunteer. 

● Teams are usually made up of four participants, but they can have fewer participants. When building a team, it’s always best to find “quality” participants (those who will read the books) rather than “quantity” (just finding three friends who agree to be on team). 

● Teams may also choose to have an alternate, but there can be only one alternate per team. This alternate may take the place of one of the four participants on the team for a battle. However, when the alternate participates in a battle, the person must remain in competition for the entire battle. No substitutions may be made once the battle has begun. 

● The number of teams each school/library may send to the regional tournament will be determined on a year-to-year basis by the IBOB Committee based on participation rates. 

● All participants of the two teams battling must be present in the room for all battles. Battles may be delayed because of tie breaker battles, but teams must be present and ready to play when the announcement to begin is given. 

● No other person may assist in answering any question directed to a team, or any challenge decisions, including the team’s coach, team’s alternate for that round, parents, spectators, etc. The Moderator will disqualify a team the moderator recognizes as receiving outside help. 

● In the event of a situation that is not specifically addressed in the IBOB rules, the decision of the Moderator, with the input from the co-Judge(s) in the room for that battle, is final. 

● The IBOB Committee has the authority to refuse to allow a team to participate in the event of unsportsmanlike behavior or other extenuating circumstances.