Oregon Battle of the Books

Growing Readers and Thinkers

Oregon Battle of the Books broadens reading interests, increases reading comprehension, builds a lifelong love of reading, and promotes cooperative learning and teamwork.

The Oregon Battle of the Books programs started for grades 3-8 in 2008, but because of its popularity, it has expanded to high school students.

McMinnville Education Foundation provides books for each participating school library, so any team member has access to the books without having to purchase them for themselves. These books are also permanently available for all students in the school. 

How Battle of Books Work

Each elementary school has multiple teams to represent their school in competition regarding the 15 books on the current list of battle books. Many schools have each team compete in round-robin “battles” to start so each team has an opportunity to battle at least three times. During the first three rounds, the battles were not “won” or “lost” per se. The teams accumulate points and the top eight teams based on point totals advance to the fourth round. Bracket elimination battles lead to the two teams that qualify for the final battle.

Winners from each elementary advance to a regional competition in Newberg in March. Middle school and high school levels compete in a similar manner

The Books

The McMinnville Education Foundation provides each school in the district with the books for each year’s competition. These books are then kept in the library collections for future checkout:

  • Elementary level battles with 15 book titles
  • Middle level battles with 16 book titles
  • High level battles with 12 book titles

Getting Started
with a Mini Grant

From Librarian Joyce Lowry’s mini-grant application for all the elementary and middle schools

When MSD students who had participated in OBOB in elementary and middle school arrived at McMinnville High School, they were very disappointed to learn that the experience was not available there. Luckily the high school librarian, Lori McGreal, was familiar with OBOB and was happy to get it started at the high school level. In preparation, she requested a teacher mini-grant to purchase some of the previous year’s OBOB books to get the students started and excited about competing next year.

Business and industry tell schools that teamwork is a very important skill that youngsters need to learn and practice while they are students. In a book competition such as Battle of the Books, students work in teams and agree with one another before answering questions during the contest.