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The Battle of the Books is a reading competition for deaf and hard of hearing students in middle school (5th-8th grades). Students across the nation read the same assigned books and then compete against each other by answering true or false, short answer, multiple choice, and presentation style questions about the books they read.

There are three divisions in the competition to accommodate the varied reading ranges of these students. The Bison division, named after Gallaudet’s beloved mascot, consists of students who read at the 3rd/4th grade levels. The Blue division, named for one of Gallaudet’s primary colors, consists of students who read at the 5th/6th grade levels. Finally, the Buff division, also named for one of Gallaudet’s primary colors, consists of students who read at the 7th and above grade levels.

There are also three parts to the competition: the Preliminaries; the Playoffs; and the National competition. In the Preliminaries, teams compete with other rival schools and programs around the nation, providing an excellent opportunity for these students to meet other deaf and hard of hearing students their age who enjoy reading as well. The top performing teams then advance to the Playoffs where the presentation round is introduced. Then, from these Playoff teams, only the final six teams from the Blue and Buff divisions and one final team from the Bison division are invited to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for the National competition. All transportation, lodging, and meals for the National-bound teams are covered by the Gallaudet University Youth Programs office. Pretty exciting, right?

The overarching purpose of the Battle of the Books is to promote literacy amongst Deaf and Hard of Hearing middle school students; promote a spirit of academic competition and good sportsmanship; and to encourage critical thinking skills amongst middle school students.

2021-2022 Battle of the Books Important Dates:

Registration: Wednesday, September 8 at 12:00pm EST to Friday, September 10 at 4:00pm EST, 2020.

Register Here

Preliminary Book Distribution Day: Friday, September 24, 2021

Preliminary Competition for all teams: November 15-19, 2021

Playoff Competition for advancing Buff and Blue teams: December 6-10, 2021

Playoff/Finals Competition for advancing Green teams: December 14-16, 2021

National Book Distribution Day: To Be Determined

National competition- Plan A (in-person): May 14-17, 2022

National Competition- Plan B (virtual): April 4-15, 2022


We would like to recognize and thank our main sponsor, Sorenson!

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