Book battle is under way

November 11, 2009

The Battle of the Books, a reading-based competition sponsored by the Washington County Free Library, kicked off its 23rd year on Nov. 1.

Washington County children in grades four through six form teams of five to eight kids with an adult sponsor. Once the teams are formed, they may register at the central library in Hagerstown or any of its branches.

Upon registration, a team will receive a set of 20 books to read and discuss until the written round of the competition, which is held in March.

The top eight teams emerging from the written round will compete in a final round. Both rounds are held at Eastern Elementary School.


Every student who participates will receive a free paperback book and certificate courtesy of the Washington County Free Library. The top three teams receive trophies for their efforts.

The books used include children's classics and contemporary fiction. Genres selected for the lists include mystery, historical fiction, fantasy/science fiction, adventure and humor.

The purpose of the program is to encourage children to read well-written books that are interesting and entertaining, and to give children who love to read the chance to be recognized like those who are involved in sports and the arts.

Registration for the program runs through Dec. 1. If you are interested in forming a team for the competition, contact Jeff Ridgeway at 301-739-3250, ext. 132, or by e-mail at

Battle of the Books list for 2009-10:

o "Among the Hidden" by Margaret Haddix

o "Becoming Naomi Leon" by Pam Munoz Ryan

o "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton

o "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis

o "Caddie Woodlawn" by Carol Ryrie Brink

o "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch" by Jean Lee Latham

o "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor

o "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsburg

o "Gentle Ben" by Walt Morey

o "The Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald

o "The Great Turkey Walk" by Kathleen Karr

o "Gregor the Overlander" by Suzanne Collins

o "Harriet the Spy" by Louise Fitzhugh

o "The House of Sixty Fathers" by Meindert DeJong

o "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien

o "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George

o "The Riddle of Penncroft Farm" by Dorothea Jensen

o "Ruby Holler" by Sharon Creech

o "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett

o "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" by Elizabeth George Speare

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