Global Reading Challenge


The 2015 GRC Titles! » Just Announced!

What is the Global Reading Challenge?

The Global Reading Challenge is a Battle of the Books program sponsored by the Kalamazoo Public Library. The Challenge promotes the reading of fiction and nonfiction that celebrate the world's diverse community.

The Global Reading Challenge is limited to 4th- and 5th-grade classes within the Kalamazoo Public Library District.


In the late 1930s two Chicago school librarians developed a program to test young readers’ knowledge of good literature. The program reached thousands of Chicago school children and was quickly turned into a weekly radio quiz program known as “The Battle of the Books.” Questions about characters, plots, and settings were answered by teams representing public elementary schools. Answers were usually the titles of well-known fiction books and biographies.


photo: George Kuttner

How it Works

Ten books are selected each year by Kalamazoo children's librarians, especially suited to the reading interests of their young readers. A wide range of reading levels is represented by selected books so all students can participate in the Challenge. Questions are based on specific factual and content information found within the 10 selected books.

In the month of March, school challenges are conducted in each school building by library staff. Branch challenges are then held at individual branches. Winning branch teams will compete in the District Challenge.

Teacher and Coach Guidebook

The Global Reading Challenge Teacher and Coach Guidebook is available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

Download the Teacher and Coach Guide  PDF  New!

For more information about the Global Reading Challenge at Kalamazoo Public Library, please contact Sue Warner or call 269-553-7876.

Congratulations to the 2014 Winners!

Prairie Ridge Elementary - Crazy Cougars

2014 Advancing Teams:

  • Woods Lake Elementary - Angry Nerds
  • Arcadia Elementary - Bishop's Dynamite Readers
  • Lincoln International Studies School - Tigers
  • Kazoo School - Rocket Readers
  • Northglade Montessori Magnet School - Knights of the Library Realm
  • Heritage Christian Academy - Yellow Jackets
  • Prairie Ridge Elementary - Crazy Cougars
  • El Sol Elementary - Stellar Readers
  • Northeastern Elementary - Reading Rock Stars
  • Spring Valley Elementary - Hooked on Reading
  • King Westwood Elementary - Book Slammers Jr.
  • Edison Elementary - Book Shinobis
  • Washington Writers Academy - Team Lime
  • Parkwood Upjohn Elementary - Rainbow Panthers
  • Winchell Elementary - Wonder Readers
  • Milwood Elementary - Milwood Spartans


Global Reading Challenge Final from Public Media Network GPSU on Vimeo.

Last month we took you to round 1 of the Global Reading Challenge at Prairie Ridge Elementary School. Now we’ll head down to the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Central Branch for the final round of this city-wide competition.