Students from Lake Stevens Middle School and North Lake Middle School have been reading books since November in preparation for the annual Battle of the Books Competition held every March. North Lake has taken first place for the past nine years, so the competitive juices were high for LSMS students to prove their knowledge and bring the trophy home.
Seven books were selected this year for students to read. They included: Tangerine by Edward Bloor, Fever1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, Petey by Ben Mikaelsen, Maze Runner by James Dashner, Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, and Double Identity, by Margaret Peterson-Haddix.
In all there were 24 teams competing- LSMS had 11 teams and a total of 39 students and NLMS had 13 teams with a total of 50 students. The competition hosts three rounds: eight games in round one, two questions from each book; four games in round two with harder questions, and a Championship game with three hard questions from each book.
Teams earn one point for each question correctly answered within five seconds of sounding their buzzer. An incorrect answer results in a one point deduction. The team with the most points after each round wins the round and proceeds to the next round.
The end of the evening found LSMS team Garfield’s Little Minions taking first Place by one point. North Lake Middle School’s team Awesome Purple Cupcake Ninjas took second Place, and third Place Blueberry Book Muffins. LSMS’s Flying Ninja Pickles took runner-up. Teams winning in the first three positions were awarded prizes of gift cards to Barnes & Noble.
North Lake Middle School’s librarian, Kelli Kesler shared, “The Battle of the Books night is one of my favorite events of the whole school year! It’s great to see kids dressing up in teams and competing with hope and fire in their eyes. It’s also fun to see parents, literally on the edge of their seats, hoping it’s their child’s voice they hear over the microphone. Cheering and clapping over books is certainly a unique experience for the middle level, and it all happens at the Battle of the Books.”
Lake Stevens held its first Battle of the Books in 2001. Books are carefully selected so that classics, award winners, and new favorites are all considered. A range of reading levels is selected so that all students can participate. Care is also taken to ensure that the collection is balanced with respect to male and female protagonists, the genres represented, and the ethnic groups portrayed.
In addition to the students, the following people made Battle of the Books possible: Ann Don Tigny, Kelli Kesler, Nancy Vittor, Roni Garner, Mary Jo Elder, Dawn Steinruck and Terry Lambert. Thanks go to LSMS PTSA for providing the prizes.