Do you think that you are smarter than a 5th grader? I am not so sure this is a true statement for me anymore. I am a judge for the Battle of the Book over at Pittston Consolidated School and part of my duty as judge is to read 5 YA titles. Okay, what is YA? YA is a fairly new genre to the publishing world that concentrates on the teen and pre-teen audience. Please think of the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series…. very large audiences and huge profits for the publishers. Though these blockbusters are not titles for the battle, I did read books I never would have read if not for my responsibilities.
Did you know that such a war could be waged? Well, the siege is over and the clear winners of the battle are the students of Pittston Consolidated School.
Over the last two weeks, I had the pleasure to judge the third annual Battle of the Books that pitted teams from the 4th and 5th grade classes at the school. Each team spent hours reading, dissecting, researching and pondering, 5 young adult titles. On the day of the competition, they were battle ready with styling hats and colorful tees.
The judges tried to be as prepared by reading the books and learning to arbitrate through any controversy. We read stories about the sinking of the Titanic, a biography of a real hero of the West, a poignant story of a very loyal dog, a fantastical yarn about an excellent pie maker and a colossal story of intrigue. Through 2 days of competition, the battles were tight and no clear winner emerged. As the final teams squared off, the room tensely braced for the action. Points flew back and forth and when the dust settled, The Book Burglars emerged victoriously!
At a time when our community scrambles to support the schools that educate our children and wonder about state “grades”, I am so proud to have been a part of this wonderful program that keeps kids reading and allows them the ability to soar with their imagination…way to go staff, students and teachers of Pittston Consolidated School!
Anne Davis, Director of Library and Information Services
I took my duties very seriously, judges are well respected entities and I did not want to besmirch anyone. I thought I had the titles down pat, but the teens could answer any trivia, tidbit, and theme question we threw at them, all in 30 seconds! These students read, studied, dissected, and reviewed each title until the event. I am so proud of the young adults that joined in on the fun. Their teachers should be our heroes because they accomplished a very difficult feat…. they made reading fun and they made readers champions. So, I challenge our library readers to pick up a YA title soon, these books are worlds away from my days of reading the Nancy Drew series and dreaming of the time that I would be able to drive around town in a roadster!