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The Battle of the Books
By Elizabeth Meeks, Zug Campus Library Teacher & Team Leader

Battle of the Books (BOB) is a reading competition held annually between local International School Middle Schools (Zurich International School, Inter-Community School of Zurich, and ISZL) and has been going strong for 15 years. BOB kicks off each year in November when all Middle School English classes are introduced to the eight BOB books, selected by the three schools' librarians. Students form teams of 4 across grades and homerooms and read the eight books trying to remember all the facts and small details in each book. Learning to study and close read a text is just one skill set that participants develop.

This year we had over 70 students participating in BOB and it has been fantastic to see such a culture of reading at ISZL. Due to the large number of participants we had an elimination round to find the 16 students (4 teams) who would go on to participate in the ISZL semi-final. From here, the winning team would go on to represent ISZL at the BOB finals against our neighbouring schools.

The semi-final was held in the Baarburg theatre with parents, teachers and students from different classes cheering on the teams as they took part in the gameshow style quiz in late February. This semi-final was one of the closest scoring competitions we have had, which shows how strong the knowledge of books as well as the gameplay from all the teams was. The scoring was triple checked but, in the end, 'Team SCIS' won our semi-final round with the other teams celebrating a three-way tie for second place. It was a great competition with teachers joining the fun and challenging the semi-finalists to a friendly Kahoot competition which the elated students won, much to the disappointment of the teachers!

Our winning team 'SCIS' went on to compete at the BOB final at the end of February, held at Zurich International School. It was an exciting final competition and it was fantastic to see the incredible amount of knowledge of all the books ISZL’s team had. Some of our semi-finalists came along to cheer and support the team too and were thrilled when ISZL prevailed and tied for first place in the Battle of the Books 2019! Congratulations to our 1st place BOB team!

The power and excitement of reading is alive and well on Zug Campus. The Battle of the Books competition has wrapped up for 2019 but there is already talk from many of the teams about participating again next year!

If you are looking for a new novel to enjoy for the break, consider trying a BOB book:

BOB 2019 titles

  • All’s Faire by Victoria Jamieson
  • Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
  • The Whydah by Martin W Sandler
  • Ryan Quinn by Ron MacGee
  • Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard
  • The Secret Sherriff of Sixth grade by Jordan Sonnenblick
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
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