EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – An epic battle of reading proportions is about to take place. Fourth and fifth graders from Evansville-area schools are fighting it out in the sixth annual Indiana Battle of the Books Competition.

Coaches or teachers form teams of six to ten students. The students read and study about 30 books then quiz each other in preparation for the competition. Twelve teams with about 100 students from seven schools will compete this year.

Over 250 students that made 28 teams participated in the competition before COVID. The Readers’ Celebration had an attendance of 800 people where readers had a parade in the gym to the cheers of family and friends.

The top two teams were announced during the parade and the teams would go head to head in a special battle.

The competition is taking place at the National Guard Armory in Evansville on April 7 and 8 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Readers’ Celebration will take place on April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The celebration will be just for the teams this year due to space limitations. But family of students can enjoy pieces of the celebration afterwards with shared photos and video.

This will be the first time since before the pandemic occurred that the competition will be a live in-person event. The purpose of the competition is to promote the joy of reading.

Volunteers for the competition are provided by Altursa International of Evansville, the Women’s Club of Newburgh, Kaiser Aluminum and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Financial help is provided by Alcoa’s community volunteer program.

Public library librarians helped select the books for the competition. Books were donated by non-profit means. A local artist judged the competition’s T-shirt design contest.

More information can be found at www.indianabattleofthebooks.org.