Clash of the (literary) titans
The questions thrown at the teams of Caldwell County fourth- and fifth-graders in the annual Battle of the Books focus on "little tiny details," making contest moderator Rebecca Poer shake her head Tuesday and marvel at the students' ability to answer the questions.
Examples include "In which book do characters pass time by playing chess?" - it was "Jake" by Audrey Columbus - and "In which book does a character eat a mayonnaise sandwich drink a root beer?" and the answer was "Love, Ruby Lavender" by Deborah Wiles.
The students, however, seemed unphased by the nit-pickiness of the questions. They were just excited to show off their hard work. The team from West Lenoir Elementary practiced every Monday afternoon and every morning from 8:10 to 8:50. But all the kids were having fun because of how much they love to read.
Autumn King, 10, from Dudley Shoals said, “I decided to participate because my teacher recommended it. She said, I’d make a great addition to the team. It was really fun because I love to read.”
KyAnne Thomas, 10, from West Lenoir said the contest “takes you on an adventure.”
Lower Creek Elementary School took home first place in the eighth annual Battle of the Books competition for elementary schools. Team members were Landon Chapman, Kemdyn Clement, Sam Dyer, Emily Fox, Delanie Gutierrez, Garrett Lawrence, Amanda Lin, Cassidy Lowe, Katie McRary, Paige Money, Jack Thomas Spears and Zachary Young.
Gamewell Elementary School took home second place. The team consisted of Jayla Bristol, Noah Bumgarner, Gabe Crawford, Aidan Crooke, Matthew Effler, Trinity Greer, Brynn Hadley, Justin Holloway, Makenzie Roberts, Laney Singleton, Kyndall Vaught and Kaylee West.
Davenport A+ Elementary took home third place. The team members were Karim Aguilar, Damaris Alvarenga, Rachel Bast, Tanli Carlton, Shelby Drost, Stephanie Estudiante, Noah Jaroszewski, Anthony Nolasco, Audrey Smith, Olivia Smith, Bronwyn Talbert and Nolan Wallace.
The Education Foundation of Caldwell County sponsors the event, paying for all the books and for pizza from Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant in Lenoir for lunch.
Pat Triplett, executive director of the Education Foundation and a judge at the event, said she had been impressed the first time that the schools had a Battle of the Books and thought, “This is terrific! We’re going to fund this!”
During the event, moderators asked the teams questions about the 18 books they were required to read. Correct answers were worth three points, and rebound questions were worth two extra points.