On Saturday, February 2, nearly 1,200 elementary students and parents packed the Groves High School gymnasium for the Baldwin Public Library’s third 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 school librarians 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 Astrotwins: Project Blastoff by Mark Kelly; Freakling by Lana Krumwiede; Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson; Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Story Thieves by James Riley; and Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods.
Leading up to the event the Friends of the Baldwin Public Library generously sponsored school visits with author Lana Krumwiede. Over the course of four days in December, 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. 550 students formed 103 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 school librarians 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:
- First Place: Savage Pagers from Quarton Elementary
- Second Place: Bookie Monsters from Quarton Elementary, Theater Readers from Beverly Elementary, and The Page Burners from Pierce Elementary
- Third Place: Fre Sha Vaca Do from Pembroke Elementary
“Seeing teams coming up with creative team names based on the books, dressing up in matching t-shirts, and sharing so much enthusiasm for reading is such a pleasure. The Battle was quite the undertaking for everyone involved and I’m so grateful that we were able to host an enriching after school event for students,” said Klimmek.