Lincoln Academy Librarians Cathi Howell and Jennifer Betts hosted the first annual Battle of the Books on Friday, March 24, 2017 in the LA Library. Great Salt Bay, Nobleboro Central School, Bristol Consolidated School, Jefferson Village School all sent teams–and some schools sent more than one team–for a total of 39 students and eight teams participating in Friday’s event.
Battle of the Books was run in a quiz-bowl type format, with teams answering questions based on four books that all participants read in preparation for the event. The four featured books were: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose. Librarians in the AOS schools met weekly with students leading up to the event to discuss the four books and create questions to be used at the event.
LA Librarian Cathi Howell explained the genesis of Battle of the Books this way: “This is the third year that I’ve worked with the AOS 93 library group, meeting monthly for professional development purposes. Former GSB librarian Sharon Mathews coordinated a similar event between GSB and Gardiner Middle School the first year I worked with this group. I thought it would be a great event to implement district-wide between the AOS 93 schools, targeting the upper grade levels and offering a program that encouraged reading for fun for students in grades 6 to 8. The library group and I discussed options for books to feature and chose four, representing a variety of genres and including books that would appeal to both male and female readers.”
Teams earned prizes from Sherman’s Maine Coast Bookshop that were donated by the AOS Schools and the LA Library.
After the competition and prizes, students enjoyed a pizza lunch in the library with pizzas donated by the Newcastle Publick House, Hilltop Stop, and the Penalty Box.
Will Battle of the Books become an annual tradition? “Absolutely,” said Howell. “I was extremely happy with how well this event went for a first go. It was so exciting to see the library literally bursting at the seams with a room full of happy readers! I loved hearing the chatter that went on at the tables as the kids hashed over their answers. The enthusiasm and energy in the room was phenomenal. The kids all seemed to be having a great time and were very competitive yet great sports as well. The high school members of the Library Team seemed to have just a much fun as the participants”