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St. Lawrence County Libraries Excel at Regional Battle of the Books

The North Country Library System annual Battle of the Books competition took place Saturday, May 5th in Gouverneur. Eighteen teams of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade children from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties competed in a double-elimination competition consisting of trivia questions based on twenty books the children read and studied over the past eight months. 

Congratulations to The Grimoires from the Morristown Public Library for winning the overall competition! The team included Isaac Begel, Reagan Butler, Ivan Kring, Joseph Kring, and Coach Jane Kring.

Second place went to the Platinum Dragons of Reading from the Canton Free Library: Elias Nelson, JoJo Nelson, Esme Pignone, and Coach Rebecca Pickens. Third place went to The Title Waves from the Ogdensburg Public Library: Candence Cole, Clara Cole, Greta Ferris, Azlyn Rickardson, and Coach Mary Jane Rishe. 

Fourth place went to the Book Tacklers from the Hopkinton Reading Center: Gavin Mere, Erik Severtson, Charlie Vitale, Nathan White, and Coach Lori White. Fifth place went to The Book Worms from the Hepburn Library of Lisbon: Allison Bell, Avery LaPage, Gavin LaPage, and Coaches Cristy Bell and Nicole LaPage.

Every year, the North Country Library System collaborates with local public libraries, public schools, and homeschool groups to host a reading competition for students in grades 4-6. A book list is published in early September, and children are given about eight months to form teams, read books, study the details, and practice answering questions with fellow team members and coaches. In the meantime, library staff work behind the scenes writing over 1,000 questions.

In the spring, participating public libraries host a local battle to select a winning team to advance to the regional competition. Competition is fierce, as there are many details to remember and the questions become progressively harder from the local to the regional level. There is little room for error as teams are only given twenty seconds to provide an answer before the competing team has an opportunity to steal the points. Many battles are won by a single correct answer given just before time is up!

If you have a child who will be in grades 4-6 next fall, be sure to stop by your local public library or school library and ask for the 2019 Book Battle title list. A committee of library staff will select titles and publish the list in early September to allow teams plenty of time to read and study in preparation for battle in Spring 2019!

Thank you to everyone who helped out this year: NCLS and library staff who selected the books, wrote questions, and coordinated all the details at both the local and regional levels, the children who read and studied the books, the parents and coaches, the volunteer judges and scorekeepers, and the various venues that hosted our competitions – in particular St. James School in Gouverneur who continues to graciously host our regional battle. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s support and involvement!

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