What is it?

The Lincoln Public Library's Battle of the Books is a reading competition for students in grades 9-12. Teens read five pre-selected books and meet with their peers to discuss them, and then compete in teams to answer the most trivia questions during our live Battle of the Books competition. Read more books, have fun, and see if your team can triumph in this year's competition! 

Registration begins on Monday, October 16. But before that, you can help us vote on which books will be battled over! We're going to start with a list of twenty acclaimed and award-winning books, and will eventually vote our way down to the official five Battle books by the end of October. You'll also be able to vote each week on our social media posts on Instagram or Facebook (in the comments) or in the library's lobby in a sticker poll. We'll display selections each week as we work our way down to the final five.

New Book List coming soon. Until then, check out last year's Battle books...

Last Year's (2022-2023) Books

Cover art of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

Cover of Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe
Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

Set over the course of a day, a girl realizes her life on a glittering, magical island isn’t what it seems in a 1920s-set fantasy, inspired by The Tempest.

Cover of "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S.E. Hinton's classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published. 

Cover of "All My Rage" by Sabaa Tahir
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.

Cover of "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. 

How to Join

Form Your Team

Team members must be in grades 9-12, with 3-5 people per team. Don't forget to come up with a descriptive (and school appropriate) team name.

Select a Team Coach

Your team's coach should be an adult (18 or older) who can help you get organized. Teams can ask a parent/guardian to be their coach, or a teacher, and in some cases, the library can provide volunteer coaches. For more information about coaches and their role, check out our FAQ below.

Sign up

Registration for the Battle of the Books starts on Monday, October 17. The sooner that you and your team register, the sooner you'll get your books and can start preparing for Battle. Registration closes on January 7th.

Registration Form

Prepare for Battle

  • Get your battle books. We'll provide one copy of each book to each team, while supplies last.
  • Decide how your team is going to split up the books. Is everyone going to read just one book, or several? Is everyone going to read all of the books? It's up to you!
  • Meet with your team members to discuss the characters, themes, and settings of the books.

The Road to Battle

Keep an eye on our schedule as it gets updated for events leading up to the big event, including event meetings, book discussions, and visits from the authors whose books are in the competition.

Let the Battle Begin!

The Main Event will be on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 6 PM. The teams will meet at the library for the game show-style competition in several rounds with breaks in between for scoring. The winning team will receive prizes, a trophy, and all kinds of bragging rights.  

Battle of the Book Events

Check our calendar for Battle of the Book events.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Battle of the Books”?

The Battle of the Books is an exciting book-based competition in which students compete in teams to answer questions relating to the content of selected books. The game format creates interest and excitement in literacy, utilizing teamwork and encouraging good sportsmanship. This is done in partnership with our Friends of the Lincoln Public Library.

When are the events?

Events begin in October, with registration and voting on the final selection of official Battle books. We have a series of events leading to the main Battle of the Books competition on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 6 PM. Check our calendar for Battle of the Book events.

Who can participate in the Battle of the Books?

Students who live in the Lincoln area in between grades 9-12. Requests for younger readers to take part will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as the program and the reading selections are intended for grades 9-12. 

When can a student/team register?

Team registration takes place between Monday, October 17, 2022 and Saturday, January 7, 2023. Download the registration form and e-mail it to battleofthebooks@lincolnca.gov.

What does a Coach do?

Team coaches help prepare the students for the event by doing things like:

  • Leading book discussions
  • Helping create spirit wear
  • Keeping the team motivated

For more info, see our Adult Coach Information document.

How are the books selected?

Books are selected each year by the Battle Planning Team Members based on factors including, but not limited to:

  • Reading level
  • Genre
  • Interest
  • Critical reviews
  • Popularity, based on voting conducted by students and library patrons on our website, Facebook page, and in person at the library.


All chosen titles are professionally reviewed and considered appropriate for young adult readers. We recognize that not all books are right for every reader, and we encourage parents and guardians to review the chosen titles before registering their teen. 

When will our team get our book sets?

Once your team has officially been registered, you will receive your set of competition books. (While supplies last.)

What awards will be given, and when will the prizes be awarded?

Medals and gift cards will be awarded to the winners. The 1st place team will receive a trophy that will be displayed in the library for the year leading up to the next Battle. 

Medals and trophies will be awarded at the conclusion of each event. Gift cards will be delivered to the winners the week after the Battle.

Where do I ask more questions?

E-mail us at battleofthebooks@lincolnca.gov.