Battle of the Books 2018 Encourages Love of Reading in Rochester Hills

Battle of the Books 2018 Encourages Love of Reading in Rochester Hills

(Cherie W. Rolfe and Annie Kim)

On Saturday, March 10, 70 teams of Rochester 5th graders will gather at Stoney Creek High School to test their reading comprehension – and have some fun along the way – in the third annual “Battle of the Books” competition. The event coincides with National Reading Month, but Rochester Hills Public Library Youth Services Manager Claire Lopiccolo says the benefits of the event go well beyond March.

“The Battle participants will probably remember the books for years”, Lopiccolo said, and the fact that, “Rochester area 5th graders are willing to read 12 books that are not for a grade gives us great hope … a lot of kids read less as they reach this age. With their schedules and school demands and technology, reading for pleasure sometimes drops off.”

Lopiccolo also said, “The competition aspect of this program attracts a lot of kids and ultimately exposes them to books, authors, and genres that they may not have read otherwise.” Teams of students were required to read 12 books, in a variety of genres chosen by staff librarians.

The titles for this year’s competition were: “Moo” by Sharon Creech, “Eager” by Helen Fox, “Hansel and Gretel” by Neil Gaiman, “Bessie Stringfield” by Joel Gill, “Fish in a Tree” by Linda M. Hunt, “Beautiful Blue World” by Suzanne LaFleur, “We’ve Got a Job” by Cynthia Levinson, “Year of the Dog” by Grace Lin, “Seventh Most Important Thing” by Shelley Pearsall, “A Long Way From Chicago” by Richard Peck, “Into the Killing Seas” by Michael Spradlin, and “Dragonbreath” by Ursula Vernon.

In a quiz bowl-type competition, students must answer 50 questions about the books with the correct title and author to receive full credit. Students write down their answers simultaneously, so good handwriting and spelling count.

When it’s all over, the answers will be tallied back at the library, and the teams will have to wait until the awards ceremony Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Stoney Creek High School auditorium to find out the winners.

“Every team that participates will receive a goodie bag with something small and some candy. The teams that have the best and best team names will receive special certificates. The top three scoring teams will receive prizes that include book lights and books. The top team will have its name engraved on a plaque in the library that will be on our wall long enough that they will be able to someday show their children,” Lopiccolo said.

However, Lopiccolo said the prizes are not the major motivator for the competition, “which makes these readers even more impressive!”

The third annual Battle of the Books will take place Saturday, March 10, beginning at 2:30 p.m at Stoney Creek High School 575 E. Tienken Rd. Rochester Hills.

Cherie W. Rolfe is an ESL tutor in private practice and the owner of Private Literacy Tutoring in Troy, Mich. Annie Kim is a student at Reuther Middle School in Rochester.

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