The North Country Library System annual Battle of the Books competition took place Saturday, May 20th in Gouverneur. Fifteen 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 in depth.
Congratulations to The Bookie Monsters from the Canton Free Library for bringing home the first place trophy! The team included Griffin Scafidi-McGuire, Maya Thomas, Natalie Todd, Claire Waters, and Coach Heidi Todd.
Second place went to The Book Rebels from the Morristown Public Library: Connor Flack, Eliza Hodgdon, Ivan Kring, Jimmy Rainville, and Coach Jane Kring. Third place went to the Book Bros from the Potsdam Public Library: Miles Atteman, Erik Heintzelman, Liam Langstaff, Graham Rozler, and Coach Martin Heintzelman.
Every year, the North Country Library System collaborates with local public libraries to host a reading competition for middle-grade students. A book list is published in September, and children are given the fall and winter months to form teams, read books, study the details, and practice answering questions with fellow team members and coaches. While children are studying, library staff work behind the scenes to read the books, write questions, and make sure no questions may be answered with multiple book titles.
In the spring, participating libraries host a local battle to select a winning team who advances 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 tied on the twentieth question, go into a tie-breaker round, and are won by a single correct answer!
If you have a child who will be in grades 4 to 6 in the fall, be sure to stop by your local public library and ask for the 2018 Book Battle title list. A committee of NCLS and library staff will select titles in late summer and publish the list in early September to allow teams plenty of time to read and study in preparation for battle in late Spring 2018!
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!