What is Battle of the Books?

The New Mexico Battle of the Books is a reading competition for students in grades 4-8. Children read and meet with their peers throughout the year, then enter a quiz-style battle, with four rounds, in which they are asked about books that they have read from the year’s designated Battle of the Books reading list.  The New Mexico Battle of the Books encourages the youth of New Mexico to read high quality literature, have fun, and compete by demonstrating their knowledge of books.

Teams of one to eight students can be sponsored by public, private and home schools, public libraries or other organizations, and can compete in either the Elementary or Middle School Division. Students in grades 4-5 compete in the Elementary Division, while students in grades 7-8 compete in the Middle School Division. Sixth graders can participate in either Elementary School or Middle School levels. A sponsor can register more than one team; however, each team must bring one volunteer on the day of the battle. While teams enter the Statewide Battle as a group, when they arrive at the Battle, participants are placed on mixed teams that consist of children from other schools all over the state.

There are two New Mexico Battle of the Books competitions on the same date; a state Battle in Central New Mexico and a state Battle in a different location in New Mexico.  There are two important reasons for holding two state Battles on the same day.  The first is that by holding two competitions on the same day the number of participants at each is more manageable.  Secondly, we have heard from many sponsors that travelling far distances and the associated costs can make it very hard for their teams to participate in Battles.  As a sponsor, you can choose to register your team(s) for either Battle, whichever one is more convenient for you.  Both of the Battles use the same books, questions, format and rules which stipulate that participants must read at least 10 books from their appropriate list.

The NM Battle of the Books steering committee meets twice a year and is very open to your suggestions, questions and participation.  Our goal is to ensure that Battle of the Books competitions take place in New Mexico every year.  We help connect past site coordinators to upcoming Battle site coordinators.  We have been developing and maintaining a database of information that is useful for Battle of the Books site coordinating committees.  Please contact anyone on the steering committee with questions or input.

New Mexico Steering Committee Contact Information