Monday, December 5, 2011

Battle of the Books

Happy Monday.

(I can say Happy Monday and mean it because I'm writing this post from Disney's Beach Club Resort where I'll be vacationing for the next six days. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being DVC members and providing me with free vacations. So, yes, Happy Monday.)

Anywho, last week I was sitting at home with a dead laptop and my charger was all the way across town, so I was forced to do something other than surf the internet. (Oh, the horror.)

I turned on the TV and within two clicks of the remote I saw some man saying "We'll be right back with BATTLE OF THE BOOKS!"
My ear perked up. Battle of the books? Fighting books? THIS should be interesting.

I waited through the commercials. They returned and started explaining all the people involved. Awesome school people, awesome library people, awesome publishing people, even an awesome Baker & Taylor lady. And then, they introduced THE STUDENTS.

Three teens from several local high schools formed cool teams with names like The Pirates. I listened with amazement and awe as the host explained that I was about to watch a book trivia bowl. Students had been given a reading list of fifteen YA novels, and they'd be asked detailed questions about those novels. Winner gets a trophy.

Cool, huh?

I thought so too. I nestled into my couch with my flavored coffee and prepared to be entertained. Little did I know these teens would blow my mind.

Here's an example of how it went (these questions have been altered because I didn't take detailed notes on the actual questions.)

Host: After unrolling bubble wrap--
5 teams all smack their buzzer at almost the exact same time, cutting off the host.
Host: You Rock High School?
Student: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Host: Correct.

Me: What the crap?! HOW did they all know that? Just from bubble wrap?

But that's how it went. The teens hit the buzzer faster and faster, answering questions I didn't have a freakin' clue about. Then I'd hear the answer, and say, "Oh. I read that book. Why didn't I know that?" I think the host got out like two words on one question and a team guessed correctly. The teens were total book ninjas! It was beyond impressive.

The Battle of the Books isn't just for teens. The tournament includes grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Apparently, these sort of programs take place in many places, not just my little Florida county. I did not know things like this existed. But how incredibly cool is it that these types of things do exist? Growing up, the closest thing I ever had to a Battle of the Books, was the summer reading program at my local library. It was cool, but I didn't get to be on TV, smacking a buzzer (before the questions was even finished) and showing the world how awesome I was.

I vote that book battling stuff become part of the Winter Olympics.
Who agrees with me?


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