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Middle School Battle of the Books Results


           In what book does a person lose weight at an alarming rate due to a toothache? Asher, Austin, Lia, and Wren could tell you. They are the seventh-grade team that won last fall’s elimination battles in order to represent the East Troy Middle School in WEMTA’s Battle of the Books.

           For the elimination battles 9 teams were asked 20 questions similar to the one based on 10 books. The answer to every question was the full title and correctly pronounced author of the book. Teams advanced through single elimination battles to compete in the school’s final battle which consists of 40 questions. The Almighty Oaks defeated last year’s State Champion’s The Book Ends. Since the State Battle consists of 20 books, they then had two months to read the additional 10 books.
Mother Nature made this year’s State Battle particularly challenging for our team.

          Battles take place using an online website. Advisors have a code used to log into a practice battle to give students a feel for the format and a second code to the final battle for the state competition. We had scheduled the practice battle to take place in the Middle School conference room at 1:00 on Thursday, February 16th.

          It turned out to be a snow day for school and library.

          The students were busy with other commitments until Wednesday, February 22nd so that became the rescheduled date. It wasn’t ideal as we’d scheduled the final battle for February 23rd giving the team only 24 hours to review between practice and final battles. However, there wasn’t much we could do about that.

          February 22nd was a snow day.

          This time we were a bit more prepared and had arranged to meet virtually at the scheduled time just in case. It was awkward as the full question didn’t want to fit on the screen so I had to scroll for them. The software only allowed one person to talk at a time so they had to consciously make certain all voices were heard. However, they made it worked. Being bright young people, they also made similar arrangements for the final battle. That paid off.

          February 23rd was a snow day.

          Despite the challenges, the team performed well. They placed 16th out of 146 teams. Fingers crossed next year the weather is more cooperative and we’re able to meet in person.  Meanwhile 5th graders at Prairie View will be holding their Battle of the Books at the end of the month. Those are run exclusively through the schools and do not participate in the State Battle. They receive local fame and glory only.

          The answer to the question? The Radium Girls (Young Reader’s Edition) by Kate Moore. This year’s nonfiction title tells the story of radium factory workers. When it was first discovered, radium was used as a beauty treatment and wonder drug. Until these workers began to grow ill and die. The library own’s a copy. Come check it out.  

Currently readingThe Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
Listening to: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones