Powerfully affirms our human capacity for grace and love and understanding.”

bestselling author Gary D. Schmidt

Jack Cheng •

Sun, Mar 13 – 2:00 pm est

Jack Cheng

Jack Cheng is a Shanghai-born, Detroit-based author of critically acclaimed fiction for young readers. His debut children’s novel, See You in the Cosmos, is winner of the 2017 Golden Kite and Great Lakes, Great Reads awards for Best Middle Grade Fiction. He has visited schools around the world speaking with students about finding their paths as writers and artists. He is a 2019 Kresge Artist Fellow.

Event and Book

The championship and author event at the City Opera House are free and open to the public. In-person tickets are not required, virtual reservations are available by clicking the virtual ticket link above.

Battle of the Books is back for 2022! Battle of the Books is a book-based quiz competition for fourth and fifth graders in the Grand Traverse community. Kids read incredible stories together and then experience heart-pounding moments in competition.

On the day of the Championship Battle and All-Team Finale, we will be joined by award-winning author Jack Cheng. Jack is the author of See You in the Cosmos, a story about (according to Jack) “an eleven-year-old boy who’s trying to launch his iPod into space. But it’s also about road trips, families, and finding love and truth and courage in the universe. There’s also a dog named Carl Sagan.” See You In the Cosmos is also the winner of the 2017 Golden Kite and Great Lakes, Great Reads awards for Best Middle-Grade Fiction.

At the Finale, Jack will help crown the 2022 Champions and give an inspiring author talk to the young readers in attendance. 

To learn more about Battle of the Books and see all the amazing books on this year’s reading list, visit

The NWS is also hosting a free virtual creative writing Masterclass with Jack on March 16th. He’ll be hosting an interactive writing workshop in the style of an improv comedy show! Students should be in grades 4-7, and space is limited. More information and registration is available here.

Guest Host |

Local Bookstores

Bay Books – Suttons Bay

Brilliant Books – Traverse City

Cottage Book Shop – Glen Arbor

Horizon Books – Traverse City

McLean & Eakin – Petoskey

Saturn Booksellers – Gaylord

Event Sponsors

Many thanks to our Battle of the Books Sponsors:

eFulfillment Services
Honor Bank
Hazelnut Kids
Dr. Sara Bergsma Orthodontics

Event Underwriters

Many thanks to our Battle of the Books underwriters!

Robert & Anne Tucker
Rick & Sera Thompson
Dawn & Kean Oh

Event Grantor

The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation


Development Sponsor

Season Sponsor

Arts Benefactor


This activity is supported in part by the MICHIGAN ARTS & CULTURE COUNCIL and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

Raising Writers Grantor

Supporting Partners

Major Media Sponsor

Supporting Media Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors