LA Librarians Cathi Howell and Jennifer Betts quizzed over 60 middle school students from AOS93 schools about books they read during “Battle of the Books” a program coordinated by Lincoln Academy and AOS 93 librarians. The program took place in the LA gym and was followed by lunch in the library.

On Friday, May 3 over 60 Middle school students from AOS 93 spent the day at Lincoln Academy as part of the LA Library’s “Battle of the Books” program. The program is a collaboration between AOS 93 and LA librarians. Student participants read four books selected by the librarians, and meet for book discussions during lunches throughout the school year at their own schools. In May, all participants meet at LA for a trivia contest based on the four books. Students finish their day at Lincoln Academy with a pizza party in the Library.

Library Team score keepers tally the pointsIn addition to the librarians, the Battle of the Books was coordinated and run by LA students who are part of the Library Team, a club at LA that celebrates reading and literacy, organizes library events, and helps select books for the library.

The books chosen for the spring, 2019 Battle of the Books were: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, Lost by Jason Reynolds, Wish Tree by Katherine Applegate, and Lost Trail: Nine Days Alone in the Wilderness by Donn Fendler.

Assistant LA librarian Jennifer Betts said the goals of the program are to inspire a love of reading, and introduce middle school students to the LA library and its programs. “We hope these kids will choose to come to Lincoln Academy, and they may even get involved with “Library Team when they get here. This program gives them a chance to interact with future classmates.”

A library team member shows the answer to a book trivia question during Battle of the Books

A library team member shows the answer to a book trivia question during Battle of the Books

The book trivia contest took place in the LA gym, where Library Team served as scorekeepers and helpers. Middle school students demonstrated clear familiarity with the chosen books, as evidenced by their high scores in the trivia contest. They also seemed to be having a great time.

When asked why he chose to participate, fifth grader Gabe Lombardo from South Bristol School said, “the books are great! And they are free!”

Avale Brightmah-Uhl, another fifth grader from South Bristol said, “being able to do this program is fun, and there is a great book selection!”

Nobleboro Central School had a clean sweep of the awards this year. Their “Unit 3174” team came in first in the Battle of the Books, with team members Isobel Petersen, Cheyenne Wadford, Alden Hunold, Dante Maskell, Cutter Libby and John Rice. The “Newbies,” also from NCS, won “Best Team Theme” prize. Those team members include Paige Simmons, Ashly Campbell, Natalie Kaler, Gwendolyn Weaver, Madelyn Ward, and Madison Scott.

The 2019 Battle of the Books t-shirt

The 2019 Battle of the Books t-shirt

Bristol Consolidated School led by librarian Tammy Holmes sent two teams, the “Wild Ones” and the “Sci-Fi Sisters.” Great Salt Bay School librarian Dawn Greenleaf brought four teams; “Ghost Busters,” “Hipbopatomous’s,” “The Lost Ones” and the “No Names.” South Bristol School librarian Danielle Glidden and teachers Sue Edwards and Kayla Wright came with two teams, “Robotic Readers” and “Tree Squad.” Jefferson Village School students were not able to attend this year, but their librarian, Kathleen Peabody, assisted with the program again this year by gathering pizza donations and coordinating team shirts.

The program is not required at any of the sending schools, and students opt in by choice. Laurie Stiles, who teaches eighth grade at Nobleboro Central School said, “it takes a special group of kids to want to read these books on their own time.”

“I am so pleased with how smoothly things ran this year!” said LA librarian Cathi Howell. “We work to refine the program each year to ensure that it is a fun-filled day that celebrates reading and the library, and we want to make this a memorable day. Library Team members’ help with this program is crucial. They help from early planning to clean-up at the end and everything in between. We could not pull this off without them!”

The next LA Library event is the final Books and Brunch program of the year, a discussion and themed lunch on May 24 about the book The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime that Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater.