Book Nomination Criteria

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Criteria for the Selection of Titles

Oregon Battle of the Books is an optional program in the schools. A child’s participation is voluntary. Different criteria are used for the selection of these titles than those used in selecting materials for required activities in individual school districts.

Note to Parents: The Oregon Battle of the Books is a voluntary program. OBOB welcomes students in grades 3-12 to participate. The titles are selected with the reading level and maturity in mind–depending on grade level. You may feel that the content and/or theme of one or two of the titles are inappropriate for your child. Not all OBOB team members are required to read all books on that year’s list and students should not be assigned specific books to read for a grade if students or parents have reservations about the content suitability of that title.

Books chosen for the Oregon Battle of the Books list are selected keeping in mind the following criteria:

Number of titles:

  • 16 titles per 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade division
  • 12 titles per 9th-12th grade division
  • Grade level/reading level
  • Balanced grade/reading level


  • A variety of subject areas, plots, settings, and styles
  • Balanced interest for boys/girls and wide range of maturity levels within divisions
  • Chosen from a variety of genres: realistic fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, multicultural, and Oregon representation
Quality of the books:
  • Select high quality, well-reviewed, age-appropriate titles
  • Award winners such as the Newbery, Oregon Readers Choice, etc., will be considered

Books on previous lists:

  • Titles may have been used as OBOB titles previously
  • Titles must not be repeated within at least four years of being on the list

Availability of titles:

  • Books should be currently available in paperback format whenever possible

Intellectual freedom:

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    • Title selection committees always strive to make diverse and inclusive selections. Toward this aim, committees use this Bias Checklist when discussing nominated titles: Bias Checklist.
  • In accordance with the Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations, titles that otherwise meet the selection criteria will not be excluded:
    • “because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation;” or
    • “because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval;” or
    • “because of actual or suspected parental objections;” or
    • “in an effort to avoid controversy with parents.”