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Reading Rivalry

What is Reading Rivalry?

Reading Rivalry is an optional, PTO-sponsored event.  The intent is to foster a love of reading, introduce the students to books they may not otherwise choose, provide opportunities to work as a team, and to have fun!


  • The Reading Rivalry books are those 10 books selected annually for the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award.   After reading the books, the participants vote to select the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Winner!

  • Reading Rivalry is open to students in grades 3-5. 

  • Students work together as a team to prepare for a competition in March. 

    • Preparing for the competition:

      • Teams are formed by teachers, made up of 4-8 students (dependents upon the number of students and coaches).

      • Each team has a volunteer coach (typically a parent) to provide guidance and encouragement.

      • Students can choose which and how many books to read, while ensuring at least one person from each team is reading is reading one of the 10 books.

      • Books are available in the school library as well in teachers' libraries or at the public library. ​

      • Teams meet weekly, typically during recess/specified time, to discuss books, check in on progress, and prepare for the competition. 

    • The competition: ​

      • 30 questions will be asked about the 10 books. ​

      • Teams work together to select which of the 10 books is the answer to the question. 

        • Sample questions from the past: ​

          • What story is set in Australia?​

          • What story has a treacherous and cunning queen?

          • The characters in what story worry about Yankees coming to Georgia?

          • Palindromes are important in what story?

          • In what story do people speak too loudly and slowly?

      • The team that answers the most questions right in each grade will be awarded a prize!​

      • Individuals who read ALL of the Reading Rivalry books will also be recognized. 

When is Reading Rivalry?

  • Kick-off:  Early December

  • Meeting Frequency:  Weekly between Dec. - Mar.  (only one meeting in Dec.)

  • Competition: TBD (more info to come closer to event date)

What is the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award?

The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award is a children's read and vote book award.  

Its purpose is to encourage recreational reading among school age children. 

Nominated titles are works of fiction of recognized quality selected by independent

regional reading groups.


The books on the nominee lists are selected by the Maud Hart Lovelace Selection

Committee.  Criteria for selection include:

  • books must be available in paperback as of January 1st of the selection year

  • author must live in North America

  • original copyright must be within three years of the selection year

  • must be work of fiction and not classified as a picture book

Who is Maud Hart Lovelace?

Maud Hart Lovelace is best known for her beloved series of Betsy-Tacy books, which were set at the turn of the twentieth century in Mankato. These captivating stories of small town life, family traditions and enduring friendships have captured the hearts of young and old for over 65 years. Maud Hart Lovelace, was born April 25, 1892, in Mankato.  Like Betsy, Maud followed her mother around the house at age five asking questions for the stories she had already begun to write. When Maud was ten, a booklet of her poems was printed; and by age eighteen, she had sold her first short story. The Hart family settled in Minneapolis in 1910, where Maud attended the University of Minnesota. In 1917, she married Delos W. Lovelace, a newspaper reporter who later became a popular writer of short stories.  The Lovelaces’ daughter, Merian, was born in 1931. Maud would tell her daughter bedtime stories about her childhood, and it was these stories that gave her the idea of writing the Betsy-Tacy books. Maud did not intend to write an entire series when the first book was published in 1940, but readers asked for more stories. So Maud took Betsy through high school and beyond college to the “great world” and marriage. The final book in the series, Betsy’s Wedding, was published in 1955.


2023-24 Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Nominees/Reading Rivalry Books

This year’s books:

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