Global Reading Challenge


See the 2016 GRC Titles »

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.

2016 Challenge Winners!

• First Place: Central Library Parkwood-Upjohn’s “S.T.A.R.” with 110 points

• Tied for Second Place: Oshtemo Branch King Westwood’s “Bad Bookworm Brainiacs” and Eastwood Branch El Sol’s “Word Surfers” with 100 points

• Third Place: Powell Northglade’s “Champions Ignited” with 95 points

• Fourth Place: Washington Square Edison’s “Storm Readers” with 80 points

Advancing Teams

  • Washington Writers' Academy - Washington Stingers Team 2
  • Winchell - The DA's (Dumbledore's Army)
  • Paramount - The Geeks
  • Arcadia - Dopheide's Dolphins
  • Kazoo School - GR Centaurs
  • Woods Lake - Green Lanterns
  • Milwood Elementary - Rock Star Readers
  • MLK Westwood - Bad Bookworm Brainiacs
  • Spring Valley - Literacy Lovers
  • Parkwood-Upjohn - S.T.A.R. (Super Talented Awesome Readers)
  • Northglade - Champions Ignited
  • Prairie Ridge - Six Reading Warriors
  • Woodward - Dream Team
  • El Sol - Word Surfers
  • Lincoln - Golden Readers
  • Heritage Christian - Chubby Chihuahuas
  • Edison - Storm Readers
  • Northeastern - Deadly Turtles

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.

2016 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.