A literary battle, coordinated by Library Media specialist Nan Andrews, has been underway in the School District of Rhinelander. Battle of the Books (BoB), sponsored by the Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA), is a statewide program that promotes the love of reading. During the week of Feb. 20, School District of Rhinelander’s Middle Division and Senior Division finalist teams competed in the statewide WEMTA Battle of the Books competition. This annual competition tests student’s knowledge about books and emphasizes the importance of teamwork.
Teams of two to four students read a variety of books and compete by answering questions about the plots, characters and settings of the books. Questions are answered by correctly identifying the complete title and author of the book. BOB offers competition in three categories. The Elementary Division is grades 4-6, the Middle Division includes grades 6-8, and the Senior Division covers grades 9 and up. This year, the School District of Rhinelander sponsored teams in the Middle and Senior Divisions.
In the Middle Division, James Williams Middle School (JWMS) fielded nine teams coached by Ellie Rumney, and Northwoods Community Secondary School (NCSS) began the season with five teams coached by Laura Tooke. In the Senior Division, Rhinelander High School started with five teams coached by Nan Andrews, and NCSS competed with one team coached by Katy Karnosky.
The teams began reading and studying their 20 books in early November. Students on the JWMS, NCSS and RHS teams used Kindle eReaders that contained all 20 books to help them prepare for the statewide competition.
District Elimination rounds were used to select the state-bound team at each level. The state competition took place during the last full week of February. These final battles are conducted online, with each team completing a 30 minute computerized test consisting of 25 questions. Scores are compared statewide, with winning teams being announced in early March at the annual WEMTA Spring Conference.
The goals of the program are to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, to broaden reading interests by exposing students to excellent current and award-winning books and authors.
For more information about the competition, visit the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology (WEMTA) website at wemta.org/programs/battle_of_the_books.cfm.