Battle of the Books Grand Traverse is launching its annual reading competition for area fourth- and fifth-graders with an information session via Zoom on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m.

“We may be in the midst of a pandemic, but we are undeterred in our goal of having fun with reading,” says Program Coordinator Marcy Lindberg.

Anyone who would like to learn more about Battle of the Books is invited to join the Zoom information meeting on Nov. 8. and team registration officially opens Nov. 30.

Now in its sixth year, Battle of the Book Grand Traverse is a National Writers Series program that builds excitement about reading and is open to all fourth- and fifth-graders in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie counties. The program includes a free set of books for each team and welcomes participants from public and private schools as well as homeschooled students. Participation in the program is free.

Kids need to form teams of 3–6 readers with an adult coach. They will receive and read books from the program’s official book list and then compete against other teams on their knowledge of the books. Two teams emerge for a Championship Battle, and all readers celebrate at the All-Team Finale featuring the author of a book they read.

“We will be running the competition in a new ‘Pandemic Edition’ format,” Lindberg says. “Each team will show their mettle on Zoom instead of in a battle room. The scoring is slightly different with challenge questions instead of steals. But I think the core of the program is intact—engaging with awesome stories, building friendships with your teammates and winning prizes!”

“We are thrilled to be able to offer the program in these times,” says Anne Stanton, NWS executive director. “Stories are powerful for kids—maybe even more than adults—making them laugh, helping them cope with issues in their lives and even allowing them to escape for a while into the fantastical worlds created by today’s children’s authors.”

For more information about the program, visit the Battle of the Books website , follow the Battle of the Books Grand Traverse Facebook page or contact Anne Stanton at 231-631-1551.