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Fifth- and sixth-grade students from Pine Lane Elementary huddled together to discuss the question presented to them during a round of Battle of the Books at the Parker Library Jan. 31, in which they were asked trivia questions about 10 books assigned in the challenge. The eight-member team had spent months reading, hoping to know the answers to the questions presented during the challenge.
“In which book does the character ...?”
During the battle, students must answer the question correctly, which could be as trivial as what color the walls of a character's room are, as well as the author. Unfortunately, the Pine Lane team answered the question incorrectly, and the night's win went to Gold Rush Elementary. The correct answer was “Took — A Ghost Story” by Mary Downing Hahn.
Team member Maddie Taft said she was disappointed they missed the question, but she really enjoyed the book.
“Took” gave me goosebumps,” she said. “But all of the books were inspirational and had positive role models in them. I liked reading all of them.”
The Pine Lane team's strategy was to have every student on the team read as many books as they possibly could from the list. Students were allowed to listen to audiobooks as well, and, according to Maddie, many of the competitors read along with audiobooks, to increase their chances of retaining every little detail that might be called up during competition.
Mia Roth said she really enjoyed the reading list, and “The Fourteenth Goldfish” was her favorite.
“The trick is to just read as much as you can,” said teammate Allie Hughes, who declared “The Key to Extraordinary” as her favorite.
Battle of the Books is sponsored by Douglas County Libraries, and includes 46 schools within the Douglas County School District. Third- and fourth-graders are assigned a list of 10 books, and fifth- and sixth-graders are assigned a separate list. Schools began assembling teams in the fall, and began battling it out with other schools last month, narrowing the number of teams down to compete in the district-wide battle March 14 at the PACE center.
Kerri Morgan, department head of special events for Douglas County Libraries, said the event offers students who are not athletic or physically competitive a chance to be part of a team and excel.
“We try really hard to make sure the book list is representative of different reading levels. You don't necessarily have to be a super reader to participate,” said Morgan. “The titles are available in various formats, so you can listen to books on CD if you're not a strong reader.”
The night's loss for Pine Lane wasn't too devastating, as there are no eliminations during this part of the competition, so they will go on to compete in upcoming battles, and still have a chance to make it to the district competition.
Coach Jennifer Taft said the team has been meeting and training weekly, and could make it to the district battle.
“They have all done great, It's a big responsibility and takes a lot of time, but everyone on the team has worked hard,” said Taft.
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