Boulder Valley School District

Where to Find Books

Battle of the Books

Reading Strategies

Find a quiet, cool and comfortable spot to read. 
Eliminate interruptions: turn off your phone, the television or music.

Create a mental picture of what is being read. Research shows that humans tend to remember pictures more easily than words.

Retell the what you just read. Paraphrasing or saying thing in your own word is a useful technique to make sense of the information just read.

To maximize your focus, read in short segments. For example, read only a section, or read for only 10 to 15 minutes at a time. After you read the section, go over what you just read in your mind.
Linking or associating new information with information you already know helps your brain retain what you just read.
Read out loud to yourself, sometimes hearing plus seeing the words helps us to absorb the information.

Ask yourself questions about the material while reading.

  • “Why did the author mention this?”
  • “Do I understand this concept or word?”
  • “What is the main idea of this paragraph?”
  • “Do I agree with the author's conclusions?
Take notes. As you read, write down relevant information. The tactile act of writing will help you remember the information better.
Hit pause. Reflect on the content. Excel. Repeat. 

12 books?! If you are concerned there is not enough time to read every book,

  • Do the best you can. Everybody is getting challenged this year with 12 books, so you are not alone.
  • Concentrate on the book you are currently reading and try not to worry about the remaining titles on the list. The quality of your reading will better serve your team than the speed of your reading.
  • Work with a friend (or team) to read the books at different times. Then share what you've read with your friend/team and they can share what they've read with you. 
  • Keep a shared document with interesting plot details and thoughts for each book. You will probably find different details of interest than your friend/team. Add more details as you read each book, then review the shared document together before the competition.