Global Reading Challenge

Great Job to All Teams!

Teams from El Sol, Northglade, Washington Writers’ Academy, Arcadia and King-Westwood battled for the District Championship Global Reading Challenge trophy in front of a capacity crowd.  — Arcadia’s Dopheide’s Destroyers will display the trophy this year! Congratulations!


See the 2017 Titles »

Download the Teacher and Coach Guide » (PDF)

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.

Global Reading Challenge Objectives

  1. To promote the love of reading (and have fun)
  2. To promote the use of public libraries as neighborhood and community resource centers
  3. To introduce children to a wide variety of literature and multicultural reading materials (and have fun)
  4. To provide a recreational outlet for readers
  5. To encourage children to participate in a group activity (and have fun)
  6. To encourage children to read for retention
  7. To provide positive experiences between children, librarians, teachers, and parents (and have fun)
  8. To form partnership with local schools and businesses, and strengthen community ties
  9. To build confidence and integrity in young readers (and have fun)
  10. To participate in a public library activity that promotes reading as a pleasurable lifelong experience.

2017 Schedule

Advancing Teams

  • El Sol, GRC Warriors
  • Milwood, Read Lightning
  • Edison, Chapter One
  • Woods Lake, Team Blue
  • Spring Valley, Super Readers
  • Prairie Ridge, Gregarious Green Gorillas
  • Lincoln, Original Global Readers
  • Paramount, Turbo Pages
  • Northglade, Book Dragons
  • MLK Westwood, Lightning Readers
  • Arcadia, Dopheide Destroyers
  • Winchell, Lucky Charms
  • Washington, Reading Rebels
  • Northeastern, Brainiacs
  • Woodward, Straberry Lime Jumbos
  • Parkwood-Upjohn, 5 Star Elite Readers

Branch Challenge Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm, Powell Branch Library – Lincoln, Northglade, Woodward 
  • Thursday, April 13, 7 pm, Central Library – Arcadia, Winchell, Parkwood-Upjohn, Woods Lake
  • Monday, April 17, 7 pm, Oshtemo Branch Library – King-Westwood, Prairie Ridge, Paramount
  • Tuesday, April 18, 7 pm, Eastwood Branch Library – El Sol, Northeastern, Spring Valley
  • Wednesday, April 19, 7 pm, Washington Square Branch Library – Edison, Washington, Milwood

Final District Challenge

  • Monday, April 24, 7 pm, Central Library - Northglade, Arcadia, King-Westwood, El Sol, Washington Writers' Academy


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.

2017 Teacher and Coach Guidebook

The Global Reading Challenge Teacher and Coach Guidebook is now available! 

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