Our Turn: Battle of the Books
Several students at Northwoods Community Secondary School, James Williams Middle School and Rhinelander High School are competing in a competition called “Battle of the Books.” This is a statewide competition where a small team reads a select number of books, close to 20 of them. The books are both fiction and non-fiction. I’m on a team of three, with Kiley Jo Pelletier and Jane Kubisiak. Some of the books we have to read are Rules, Savvy, Lost Hero, Touching Spirit Bear and Catching Fire.
I ended up on the team in a bit of a funny way. My advisor asked me about it a couple times, and I didn’t jump at the opportunity. Then recently I came into the room and sat down at my desk, and saw that Ms. Tooke had left me a note that said “Shawn, you’re in big trouble! See me immediately! Signed your favorite advisor, Ms. Tooke.” I went to her desk wondering what I had done wrong, and she asked me for the third time if I would join. I said “OK,” and now I’m on a team.
This is going to be a big competition. There are elementary, middle school and high school divisions. Teams compete in the actual battle the last week in February. Each team works together to answer 25 questions online. The top scoring teams in the state are recognized. This would be a big deal, because Rhinelander isn’t as big a town as Madison or Milwaukee. So this seems to be a really cool event that anyone who is good at reading should join, because it will give you a way to show how well you read, which may help later in school.
For example, if you think the reading assignments you get are too easy, and that you want something harder, your teacher may give you something harder if you do well in the “Battle of the Books.” I’m competing because reading is one of my strengths. I love reading; it’s just something that has always come naturally for me. And I know I’m not the only one in my class who loves to read.
The competition begins in the end of February, and the winners are announced the first week of March. All the books have to be read by that timeframe.The teams read the books by choosing who reads what, the teams do not need to have everyone read every book, but that could help our chances if we do.
One of the cool things we have at NCSS are Kindle readers. We will have copies of the Battle books downloaded to these. The website where you can learn more about the competition is wemta.org, home page of the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association. Look under Programs and select Battle of the Books. Happy reading!