SMS Battle of the Books 2019

Being, Reading and Finding the Best @theLibrary

About BOB

In 2009, the School Library Journal started a reading promotion that pit celebrated and well loved novels in a March Madness-like contest. After competing in Yeti Events in elementary school, Bellingham students wanted something similar; so middle school librarians looked for a fun reading competition.

Legendary SMS Library team, Timmi Eggert & Teresa Flaherty brought the tournament to Shuksan. Upon her retirement in 2017, Timmi selected her final list of 32 books for the 2019 Battle.

How Will it Work

  • Before February 1, students will predict how many books from the BOB list they will read between 2/1 and 3/29.
  • Before February 1, students will fill out a bracket that predicts the winner of the 2019 BOB.
  • From Feb 1 through Feb 28, students read as many books from the BOB list as they can and/or want.


Students and staff will vote for their favorites. This will occur using online voting. Students will update their brackets.

  • Feb 25-28: Round 1 voting
  • Mar 4-8: Round 2 voting
  • March 11-15: Round 3 voting
  • March 18-22: Round 4 voting
  • March 25-28: Final Round voting
  • March 29: Big Winner announced

Staff Judges

Between 2/1-2/28, 16 staff volunteer-judges will read 2 books. From those 2 books, they will select their favorite. Student voting will affect a judge's decision and will determine if a book wins that round.

Please note: Books included on this list are classified as "Young Adult Literature." YA Lit ranges from ages 12-17. While the books were selected specifically for 6th-8th grade students, you may wish to preview the titles using reviews at a book seller website.
Big picture

What book will be declared THE BIG WINNER?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need to read all of the BOB books? No! Read the ones you want and can!

  • Do I need to read a book to vote for it? No! Pick the one you think is best based on your own likes and dislikes.

  • Can I bribe a judge? What?! Of course! If you want your book to win, you should do what it takes to convince the judge of that round to choose your book. Bribes include... compliments, candy, chores...

  • Who will judge each contest? 16 SMS teachers and staff will volunteer to judge during Round 1. After 2 rounds, there will be 8 teachers as judges.

  • How many rounds are there? There are 5 total rounds. During Round 1, 32 titles compete. During Round 2, 16 titles compete. During Round 3, 8 titles compete. During Round 4, 4 titles compete. During the Final Round, 3 titles compete.

  • What? 3 titles in the Final Round? Why not 2 titles? During the Final Round, we will bring a well-loved title "Back from the Grave." This title will compete against the 2 titles that have survived Rounds 1-4.

  • How do you choose the "Back from the Grave" title? Fans can argue to bring a book that was eliminated in earlier rounds. This book could become The Big Winner!

  • Where can I vote? Polls will open via the library website. All voting will take place electronically.

  • How will we know who wins each round? Winners will be announced each week via Morning Announcements and the Library Website.

  • Can I win anything? Yes! If you predict The Big Winner by 2/1/19 you can win some cool @theLibrary swag and... 2 Movie Tickets (Grand Prize)! And bragging rights. You can also win power and knowledge and creativity just by reading BOB books.

  • What does the Winning Book get? Bragging rights!

Meet Some of Our Judges

Love a book? Convince the Judge to vote for it! See them and argue your case!

Why should they vote for your favorite book?