On Saturday, February 10, nearly 1,500 elementary students and parents packed the Seaholm gymnasium on a snowy morning for the Baldwin Public Library’s second Battle of the Books. The goal of the friendly competition is to encourage the love of reading.
Stephanie Klimmek, Head of Youth Services at the Baldwin Library and the event coordinator, worked with Birmingham media specialists to select books covering a variety of genres and styles. Fourth and fifth grade students at Birmingham Public Schools formed teams and read six selected books.
The books chosen were Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, My Near-Death Adventures by Alison DeCamp, Courageous Canine by Kelly Milner Halls, Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen, Pie by Sarah Weeks.
Leading up to the event the the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library generously sponsored school visits with author Alison DeCamp. Over the course of three days in January, she spoke about her writing career and inspiration with all fourth and fifth grade students in the district.
The Battle of the Books was truly a team effort. 606 students formed 115 teams and tested their knowledge and comprehension by answering 24 trivia questions. Maria Williams, Head of Adult Services, served as the event’s emcee, while media specialists from Birmingham schools, librarians from Baldwin Library, and teen volunteers worked together to gather, judge, score, and tally ballots.
After ninety minutes of trivia, six winning teams were awarded gift certificates to Book Beat bookstore in Oak Park:
- Third Place: #Bookmojis (from Harlan)
- Second Place: Spine Breakers 2.0 (from Greenfield) and Savage Squirrels (from West Maple)
- First Place: Savage Rad Gators! (from Greenfield), M^2KLC Brainy Book Girls (from West Maple), and Book Worms (from Pierce)
View additional photos from the event. Photographer credit: Tony Lowe
What an amazing event you created! I’m so proud my book COURAGEOUS CANINE was one of the six required reads. I only wish I could have been there for the competition. WONDERFUL. Maybe someday I can be your author visitor for a future contest! Thanks for doing such amazing things for young readers.
Kelly Milner Halls