Battle of the Books

Summer reading program adds a trivia challenge for young adult readers.


What do you get when you ask the Island’s librarians for a great way to engage tweens and teens? This month’s Battle of the Books.

Jennifer Rapuano, young adult librarian at the Vineyard Haven library, tells me that the project is the brainchild of Allyson Malik, library director in Oak Bluffs. She had done the program previously in Maryland, and with its popularity, thought it would be great to bring to the Vineyard.

“We thought it would be a good thing to do during COVID to encourage kids to read, teenagers especially,” Rapuano said. “Usually we challenge kids to set a goal and read a certain number of books, and win prizes for that. With it typically done in the library, it just wasn’t going to happen this summer.”

Instead, the “battles” will be trivia quizzes based on six books, each one chosen by a different librarian. They gave each library a category — dystopian, fantasy, realistic, nonfiction, and sports. Participants will have to read all the books to be able to win.

“We thought this would be a fun way to have a competition,” Rapuano says. “It will be a virtual event over Zoom using Kahoot! trivia platform, with August 21 for tweens and August 28 for teens. The librarian who chose a given book has come up with five questions. Kids can team up if they want, or go it alone. The prizes are going to be gift certificates for Bunch of Grapes, which is supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Library Association. They are $100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third.”

You can get all the books from the libraries, and almost all are in multiple formats — hard copy, e-books, audiobooks, and books on tape. So, teens and tweens, get ready, get set … and go to your library to start the reading countdown.

The tween competition will take place on August 21 at 7 pm. Players can sign up at this link:  These are the books they should read:

“Stella by Starlight” by Sharon Draper

“Drama” by Raina Telgemeier

“Aru Shah and the End of Time” by Roshani Chokshi

“We Are the Change” by Selino Alko

“Roller Girl” by Victoria Jamieson

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

The teen competition will take place on August 28 at 7 pm. Players can sign up at this link: These are the books they should read:

“Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Sepetys

“There You Are” by Mathea Morais

“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

“Undefeated” by Steve Sheinkin

“The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins