MOUNT VERNON — Wiggin Street Elementary won Thursday’s Battle of the Books, retaining the championship for the second year in a row after three rounds of competition.
In Round 1, each of the teams from Columbia, Pleasant Street, Dan Emmett, St. Vincent, East, Twin Oak and Wiggin Street elementary schools answered the same 20 questions about books on the 2010 Battle of the Books list. Teams not competing were sequestered during the round. Teams earned points for each book title and author correctly given in response to a question about a book’s plot, setting or characters.
For example, throughout the contest the teams named books dealing with farming, dragons, a gateway to another world, ogres, orphans, an old iron bridge, loyalty, a blue scarf, a rainmaker, a graveyard, a sailing ship, a pig, secret messages, an evil villain, a mean prince and a camping trip.
The four top-scoring teams advanced to Round 2. Pleasant Street and Wiggin Street first went head-to-head and Dan Emmett and East completed the round. Questions alternated between the two teams, and the opposing team had the opportunity to “steal” any question the other failed to answer correctly or to answer within the 10-second time limit.
Dan Emmett and Wiggin Street faced off in the final round, reprising their final round battle from last year. Wiggin Street won the championship again, and Dan Emmett again came in second.
“It is so good working with these kids,” she Wiggin Street coach Pat Callam, “I am so very much proud of these kids. They worked very hard. I couldn’t be any prouder of them than I am tonight.”
It was a little bit of a challenge having all girls on this year’s team, Callam said.
“You know girls,” she explained, “talk, talk, talk. They would come in for lunch and sometimes there was a lot more lunch and talking than actually practicing. Obviously, though, they remembered what they read.”
To prepare for the contest, team members divided up the list of 60 books on this year’s battle list, choosing which ones they wanted to read. Some of the girls actually read all of the titles, Callam said. In addition to answering practice questions and discussing what they read with each other, the team members also challenged Wiggin Street staff members in a Battle of the Books scrimmage.
Lori Beach was the master of ceremonies for the competition, and Mount Vernon School Superintendent Steve Short read the questions. MV elementary library coordinator Louise Lutz was a judge while Mark Bohland and Terri Farnham were scorekeepers. Kim Bradley and Kailey Bradley served as timekeepers and high school mentors Sarah Baker, Sam Clarvoe, Krystal Hinchcliff and Travis Parson acted as mentors and ushers to the sequestering rooms. Domino’s Pizza and Paragraphs Bookstore provided incentives to the teams and the respective parent/teacher organizations and friends provided funds for the distinctive Battle of the Books T-shirts.
Wiggin Street Elementary’s 2010 Battle of the Books team included captain Fiona Keller, Julia Helling, Kennedy Bell, Keely Bainbridge, Hope Woodward-Ginther, Lacey Montgomery and coach Pat Callam.
Fifth-graders representing Twin Oak Elementary School in this year’s Battle of the Books were Megan Bell, captain Nathaniel Miner, Mariah Clark, Hannah Fletcher, Ryan Buddie, Amber Harden and coach Christine Hohman.
Battle of the Books team members from St. Vincent de Paul School are Kyle Pae, captain Elizabeth Day, Matthew Brenneman, Keith Robinson, Andrea Talbott, Michaela Parks and coaches Pam Hord and Sharon Tharp.
Pleasant Street Elementary was represented by Sara Jordan, alternate Ethen Friend, captain Ali Mayo, Jordan Fleming, Bailey Tear, Fredi Bockover, Brooke Johnson and coach Marilyn Chidester.
Battle of the Book contenders from East School were Jacob Booth, Ben Longjohn, Taylor Hager, Jessica Dufur, captain Nicole Steady, Jacob Tiell and coach Sandra Finnell.
Columbia Elementary’s competitors were captain Cheyenne Thomas, Sam Chapman, Trent Conant, Tim Zeller, Denasan Robinson and coach Kate Burley.
Contestants from Dan Emmett Elementary were Maggie McCluskey, captain Annie Haefs, Megan Porter, Nathan Dinnen, Lindsey Conant, Nicholas Jones and coach Jackie Hess.