Battle of the Books Team Leaders

The mission of a Battle of the Books Team Leader is to support students in their love and discovery for reading by introducing them to quality literature and to develop friendships between students.  Teams typically consist of 5-7 students per team.  lease contact if you have any questions throughout the program.

This is an opportunity for you to get together with your team to kick off the program. The Battle of the Books Committee will review the program and give time for teams to get together as small groups. During this time, your team should review the books and decide on a team name. After the meeting, it's important to circulate a text or email chain with your team's families with an update about the meeting. Please request your team reply back so you know you have everyone's correct contact information. 

Each team leader decides their strategy for reading the twelve books. Typically, books are divided up and assigned to individual team members as the book's "experts". Keep in mind that some students may choose to read all 12 books but this may not be doable for all students. It is beneficial to create a schedule of which books will be covered at each meeting and who is assigned to the books to help the students and families prepare for the meetings. The books are available to borrow from the Alden School Library and the Duxbury Free Library and can easily be found on a designated Battle of the Books shelf at both libraries. See the ASSIGNING BOOKS PAGE for more important information.


Team Leaders do not need to read every book! The Book List page has review questions for each book to help start your team's discussion. Just asking the kids to tell you about the book is a great way to learn about the book! See the PLANNING YOUR MEETING PAGE for more important information.

Periodically practicing sample questions with your team is a great way to get ready for the Final Battle. Each team comes up with a theme for the Final Battle based on their team color and team name. Matching t-shirts and/or team costumes are not necessary but a creative theme with your team's name and color makes it fun. 

When the final battle is approaching, spend part of a meeting answering questions as they would at the final battle:

  • Divide the students into teams.

  • Ask sample questions with the "In which book" format

  • Have each team hold up a paper with the title to answer the questions (practice talking about their answers quietly so the teams can't hear!) 

Attend Final Battle with your team! Make sure you have your team poster, costumes/shirts, and your team contact sheet/dismissal plans! Team Leaders sit in the audience at the Final Battle to cheer on the teams. See the FINAL BATTLE PAGE for important information. 


A Team Leader Orientation Zoom Meeting is scheduled prior to the Kick Off Meeting to review the program and answer questions. 


Tips from Previous Leaders
We asked a few seasoned Team Leaders to share their ideas and tips for leading team meetings. Here are the responses: 

  •  Keep it fun. When we tried to just sit and discuss the books, I spent the whole time trying to get them to pay attention. So we borrowed a Jeopardy game and the kids LOVED it. Wanted to do it every week!! Keep it fun and they will engage!!

  • Encourage your team members to read in a different number of formats.  There are eBook and audio versions of some BoB titles at the Duxbury Free Library, right on the BoB shelf.  A few of my team members loved listening to the audio versions of the books.  

  • Make sure you have all the correct contact information for all your team members!  We created an email list as well as a text chain so we could remind everyone of upcoming meetings.  

  • We assigned each kid 2 books to be experts on early on. Then I assigned 2 books to try to read per meeting. I did questions only on those 2 books per meeting. If kids were not able to read the books they were covering at a meeting, I asked them to read the summary. We did one final "review" of all books at the end.

  • I asked each student to write questions about the book they read for the meeting. We threw all the questions in a hat and they pulled and answered questions. Kids love it when they hear their questions being read! The kids’ parents can help them write their questions (or at least make sure they get written). And, throw in a few of your own if you are short. Toss candy to the kids when they answer! And to the kid who wrote the question.

  • Plan to let the kids play outside on the playground after the meeting. They love having this extra time to socialize! 

  • Don’t stress out if students can't attend all your meetings. Stay in touch with your team via email to make sure the student knows what books they are assigned each month and check in with them at the next meeting if they read their book(s). 

  • The kids are often hungry after school. Ask parents to send students with a snack or provide a snack for  your team  (make sure to ask about allergies).

  • The kids love to compete. Find another team leader and plan a mock-battle at a combined team meeting. You can really only do this after they’ve read a few books.

  • In the past, I’ve scheduled the meetings for an hour. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve found that I always have extra time at the end with not much to do. So just plan for that extra time or make the meeting 45 minutes.

  • There are free sites that allow you to create your own word search or crossword puzzles which is a fun way to use words from the books.

  • Every one of our kids learns in a different way. As such, I think the goal should be to empower our children to have a great experience. This means that some of them may want to read every book, others may want to focus on one or two books. There is no wrong or right way to go about doing this, what matters is that our kids are involved, have fun, and experience working as a team.

  • We play charades and try to figure out what part of the book someone is acting out.

  • Since I love to cook I can cook some different foods that are mentioned in the books and the kids can have a contest on who best describes the part of the book that the food came from.

  • We played BINGO (check online for a free Bingo game board maker). Put the book titles in the squares and ask questions from the question bank online.