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Battle of the Books – Article by Hannah, Teen Blogger


“It is 4:00 PM. The game host has welcomed everyone and explained the rules. The four students from the two teams are clustered, on opposite sides of the room, hunched over, leaning in towards each other, knees touching, possibly stroking a team mascot. Anxious and proud teachers and parents are watching from chairs, placed around the walls... A hush falls over the room as the first question is read aloud...

"In what book is there a spider who can spell?"

The stop watch clicks on. A Battle of the Books game has begun.” - Woozles Battle of the Books Website

 

Battle of the Books is a reading competition in Nova Scotia run by Woozles (a book store located in downtown Halifax). This program has been running ever since 1986. It was created to show teens the joy of reading and teamwork. It was also created to encourage teens to step out of their comfort zone and try reading a variety of books and to provide them with an opportunity to participate in a non-sports team.

A summary of how this competition works is every year Woozles publishes a reading list that normally ranges from 50-55 books. As a school or independent team of four you read books from the list. Starting in January competitions between two teams are held at Woozles, where you will be asked numerous detailed questions based on the books from the reading list. You will only be given ninety seconds to huddle and discuss with your group. Then you will be expected to give the title and author in answer to the question. If your answer is correct you will earn five points in total (three points for the title and two for the author). Whichever team gets the highest score at the end of the 30 questions wins the round.

In January, round 1 begins. Each team has the opportunity to play two games. Then the winners of the round progress to round 2 and it continues until there are only two teams left. These talented two teams compete in the final round to determine the winner.

The reading list is a variety of historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, inspiring stories, funny stories, novels about animals, and some classics.

Over the last couple of years I myself have participated in Battle of the Books. Through these years I have come across many truly breathtaking books (and sequels). Some of those books were:

  • Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur - The plot of this book was a mystery to me. It had me grasping tightly to the edge of my seat. At the start of the book it had kind of a goofy theme to it but as the story progresses it loses its playfulness. It begins to take on more of a serious note as the main character (Elise) goes through the journey of transitioning from a child to a teenager: exploring all things that come with the transitioning such as bullying, not fitting in, etc.
  • Origin by Jessica Khoury - Origin is a very unique book, a book that I would have never read if it was not on the list that year. It’s a mixture of so many things that I cannot even guess what genre it is. It has science, romance, mystery, action and a bit of everything else.
  • Dusk by Eve Edwards - The plot is a little basic for me (female falls in love with male, male goes to war). But the author took a basic plot and made it extraordinary. I found myself in puddles of tears at the end of each chapter.
  • Dawn by Eve Edwards - This book has not been on a Battle of the Books list. It is the second and last book of the Dusk series. If you have read the first book it is impossible to not read this one. I could not function in my daily life with that type of curiosity burning into my heart. As I was reading this, I was so excited I was jumping up and down in my seat--well until I started receiving dirty looks from the librarian.

This is the link for to the Woozles website if you want to find more information:
http://www.woozles.com/battle.php

I strongly urge passionate readers to head to your local branch of Halifax Public Libraries to gather information and some books from the list, you won’t regret it!

Hannah,

Teen Blogger

[Editor's Note: You can search for and place holds on library copies of Woozles Teen BOTB titles online.]

 http://discover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/?q=Its+the+end+of+the+world+as+we+know+it&searchOption=http%3A%2F%2Fdiscover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca&FreeFormFields=Title%2CCreator%2CISBN&advSearch=onewordPrison Boy - book coverThe Finding Place - book cover

 

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