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Atkinson kids prove to be book smart

Atkinson's Battle of the Books team advanced to a regional competition April 25 in Waynesville. Atkinson's Battle of the Books team advanced to a regional competition April 25 in Waynesville.

Atkinson Elementary’s reader leaders emerged victorious in last week’s district “Battle of the Books” competition, advancing to the April 25 Regional Elementary Battle of the Books — the highest competition level currently in the N.C. School Library Media Association’s “Battle of the Books” Elementary division.


Kicking off National School Library Month, on Wednesday, April 3, seven student teams went head-to-head in a locally organized competition that epitomizes school librarians’ and media specialists’ efforts to guide and encourage content and recreational reading in students.

Teams from Atkinson, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Bruce Drysdale, Dana, Hillandale and Glenn C. Marlow elementary schools answered questions about the 15 specially selected books they’d read and studied, after conferring with their teammates. Teams had 20 seconds to answer each question, and each correct answer was worth two points. If one team answered incorrectly, the other could “steal,” if they could answer within 10 seconds.

Comprised of students Livi Allison, Isaac Henderson, Elizabeth Isley, Paul Kealy, Cole Reasoner, Will Shealy, Katie Smith and Julia Trollinger, Atkinson’s team took 1st Place, and will battle against other Western North Carolina teams at the Regionals in Waynesville on April 25. Hendersonville took 2nd Place, and first-time participants Glenn C. Marlow came in 3rd. With seven of the district’s 13 elementary schools represented, this year’s local elementary BOB competition was the largest to date – having grown from only two participating teams just three years ago.

The event took place at Apple Valley Middle with the help of several retired Henderson County Public Schools library media coordinators and current Apple Valley Middle media coordinator, Jenni Axtell.

The NCSLMA has sponsored the Battle of the Books in North Carolina since 2000, and the Elementary division was formed in 2010. A state committee from the NCSLMA determines the list for each year’s Battle of the Books competitions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, pulling classics and new releases off the shelves to include multiple genres.

This year’s elementary titles included: “At the Bottom of the World” by Bill Nye & Gregory Mone; “Ban This Book,” by Alan Gratz; “Becoming Naomi León,” by Pam Muñoz Ryan; “Blood on the River,” by Elisa Carbone; “Found” by Margaret Peterson Haddix; “The Fourteenth Goldfish,” by Jennifer L. Holm; “How to Steal a Dog,” by Barbara O’Connor; “The Old Willis Place,” by Mary Downing Hahn; “Rain Reign,” by Ann M. Martin; “Ruby Holler,” by Sharon Creech; “Runaway Twin,” by Peg Kehret; “Save Me a Seat,” by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan; “A Snicker of Magic,” by Natalie Lloyd; “Stella by Starlight,” by Sharon M. Draper; and “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle.