Nine teams of fourth- and fifth-graders from Seattle Public Schools will compete for the top spot in the citywide final of the 22nd annual Global Reading Challenge from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $6 after 5 p.m.

The Global Reading Challenge started at the Library in 1995 with just 27 students. Now, more than 4,000 fourth- and fifth-graders from more than 65 Seattle Public Schools participate.

"We're looking forward to expanding the program to all the elementary schools in Seattle Public Schools," said Mary Palmer, children's librarian and coordinator of the Global Reading Challenge.

To compete in the Global Reading Challenge, fourth- and fifth-graders work together on teams and read 10 books from November to early February, when they are quizzed on the books during in-school challenges. The winning team from each school proceeds to the semifinals, and the winner for each semifinal advances to the City Final Challenge.

The top nine teams in Seattle from the 2017 semi-finals:

Bailey Gatzert - Global Gang

Lowell - Reading Rock Star Pandas

John Muir - Readers and Roarers

Sand Point - Mutant Squirrels

Graham Hill - Blue Pandas

Thurgood Marshall - Who Are We Again?

Genesee Hill - Literature Lions

Leschi - Leschi Boom Readers

Loyal Heights - Pink Porcupines

The Global Reading Challenge is made possible by funding from The Seattle Public Library Foundation, Pemco Insurance, Wells Fargo Bank, Northwest Literacy Foundation, the Ballard and Fremont Rotary clubs and Toni Myers.

For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 , visit the Global Reading Challenge page or Ask A Librarian.