Friday, May 22, 2009

Battle of the Books

The Battle of the Books is a reading incentive program designed for grades 3 through 12. Chris participated in elementary school as part of a team with other kids. They split up the books and then battled it out in a school-wide tournament.

The middle school also participates in the Battle of the Books, but they do it in a more unique, focused way. Chris' block (literature-writing-social studies) teacher encouraged the kids in her class to read some of the books on the list. Then she gave a quiz to all the kids to test their knowledge of the books. The kids in the class who got the top four scores were chosen to represent the block class in the "battle" against other 6th grade block classes. Chris got half of the questions right (he had read about half of the books at that point), but he was in the top four.

In the past few months, he's plowed through most of the other books (he only missed two books on the list). We are delighted because he's been reading high-quality literature as opposed to the biographies of "wrestlers" he seems to be drawn to at the moment!! (His latest obsession, to our chagrin, is WWE wrestling...) The 6th grade block students also participated in writing the questions to be used in the quiz.

We were delighted when he came home from school today with the announcement that his class team had won the battle! They were up against the other 6th-grade block teams in the afternoon. He won a $10 Powell's gift certificate and a $5 Starbucks gift certificate! Needless to say, he was thrilled. I had him go through some of his books and select some to take back to Powell's, so he also has another $24 to spent there. I'm sure a trip to Powell's is in store for this weekend!

Mike and I both dearly wish we had been able to participate in "Battle of the Books" when we were kids. Both of us, bookworms, would have been in our element! I remember winning a poetry recititation contest in sixth grade...and being a speech team geek in high school...but beyond those two things, I don't remember there being very many opportunities for competitive "geeking" when I was a kid! :)

These are the books the team members read for the battle:

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin
Double Identity, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, by Jenny Nimmo (this was one he didn't get to)
Indigo's Star, by Hilary McKay
A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck (and this is the other one)
Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron
City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
Crispin, by Avi
Stargirl, by Jerri Spinelli
Flush, by Carl Hiassen
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
Coraline, by Neil Gaman
Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry
Bat 6, by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull
Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen
Ghost of Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen

We toasted Chris at dinner tonight. It's so exciting for him to get the opportunity to compete in reading prowess!

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