Effective February 17, 2021: All branches are open for adjusted services and continue to offer Library Takeout and contactless pickups. Some OPL Express locations open. Learn More

Students get ready for Battle of the Books competition

March 24, 2017

Students from the community have been gearing up and studying hard for the Oakville Public Library’s (OPL) upcoming Battle of the Books competition. The exciting program runs from April 3-6 and sees approximately 500 people, including 400 students from various schools around Oakville.

The junior group (ages seven to nine years) kicks off the tournament on April 3, and the seniors (ages 10 to 12) begin on April 5. Each group includes 20 teams made up of 10 students and one coach. This year, 22 schools in Oakville have signed up for the competition.

In the round-robin based program, teams are asked a series of questions about specific books from a list given to them in February. Students are encouraged to read and thoroughly study the plots, characters, and themes of the books to prepare for the competition.

“Battle of the Books is an event hosted by OPL that promotes literacy skills, love of reading, teamwork and community,” says Justine Gerroir, Acting Manager, Programs and Outreach. “I remember having so much fun when I participated in the battles as a kid.”

Over the course of two days, teams face-off in back-to-back battles to secure a spot in the top two and win the tournament. Winners receive medals, a trophy for their school, as well as move on to a regional competition between other winners from Burlington, Milton, and Halton Hills.

Each day concludes with a special presentation given by an author of one of the books studied. This year the OPL welcomes Mahtab Narsimhan (April 3), Rona Arato (April 4), Joel Sutherland (April 5), and Richard Scrimger (April 6).

“The tournament gains more and more interest every year, and registration fills up in as little as one week,” says Gayle Casey, Branch Supervisor – Children’s. “We have so many people signing up that we’ve had to create a waitlist in case anyone cancels.”

Battle of the Books is one of OPL’s most successful school-aged programs that has seen over 10,000 students over the past 30 years. The well-sought program teaches teamwork, encourages good sportsmanship, promotes literacy, and boosts self-confidence among children.

This program is generously funded by the Friends of the Oakville Public library, a group of volunteers who believe in the importance of library resources and programs.

Registration has closed for this year’s Battle, but we encourage any interested parents, teachers, or students to connect with their schools to set-up a team for 2018’s battle.

For more information on Battle of the Books, please visit www.opl.ca/programs/battle.


A version of this article was originally published in the Oakville Beaver on March 24, 2017.