300 fourth and fifth grade students. 76 teams. The Final Four teams. 18 books. Several video cameras. One Facebook Live Video. Dozens of adoring parents and grandparents.
What does this describe? The 2018 Battle of the Books! Today's final round featured the top team from Brentwood, Central, Clarks Creek and Van Buren, each vying for the coveted boxing gloves of literacy.
Last fall, shortly after they began the school year, students formed their teams and began working with their school's Media Specialist, all in preparation for the grueling competition. Why grueling? They read 18 books, studied them intently, chose a team name (and in some cases, came up with team shirts or headbands), and in general, prepared for the elementary literacy version of the popular television shows, "Brain Game" and "Jeopardy!"
And these aren't your everyday, run of the mill preteen books. The list?
- Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
- Connect the Stars, by Marisa de los Santos
- Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate
- Fast Break, by Mike Lupica
- Finder, Coal Mine Dog, by Alison Hart
- Fuzzy Mud, by Louis Sachar
- A Handful of Stars, by Cynthia Lord
- Harriet the Invincible, by Ursula Vernon
- Last in a Long Line of Rebels, by Lisa Lewis Tyre
- Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, by Mara Rockliff
- My Diary from the Edge of the World, by Jodi Lyn Anderson
- Pax, by Sara Pennypacker
- Project Alpha, by D.J. MacHale
- Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson
- Spirit Week Showdown, by Crystal Allen
- Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm
- The Underground Abductor, by Nathan Hale
- Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones
This morning, a school bus delivered the Final Four teams to the PCSC Administration Building, where an audience made up of their principals and family members quietly cheered them on in the final round. One by one, the teams answered questions covering all areas of the books; if a team responded with an incorrect answer, the other three teams had the chance to respond (and to earn points).
In the end, the Central team, "Flower Power," was presented with the traveling trophy, but everyone agreed that all the students represented their schools with great knowledge, sportsmanship and spirit. Congratulations!
Brentwood's Team Unicorn is pictured with Media Specialist Mr. Fritch and Principal Mrs. Walker.
Central's Team Flower Power is pictured with Media Specialist Mrs. Crum and Principal Mrs. Thacker.
The Titan Knights of Clarks Creek, pictured here with Media Specialist Mrs. Silver and Principal Mrs. Donovan.
Van Buren's team, Girls Rock Readers, are pictured here with Principal Mr. Helmuth and Media Specialist Mrs. Woodson.