February 17, 2011

Reading becomes varsity competition at OHMS
"Varsity" readers at Oak Harbor Middle School put themselves to the test, competing in a game show format to see which reading team could claim the school's literary championship. The "Battle of the Books" was all for fun, but proved a strong motivator for 40 students who volunteered at the beginning of the school year to read 30 books. This was not all easy reading, either.

It included books, such as The War of the Worlds, Jane Eyre, and Robinson Crusoe. In the end, five teams raced the clock to answer specific questions about each book, with the team \thanators + 1" taking first place. Librarian Alice Mikos served as emcee and coordinator for the event, meaning she personally had to read all 30 books.

The event was one more indicators, she noted, that students are enthusiastic for reading. Consider this: During the first semester at OHMS, students read a total of 5,049 books; roughly 222 million words; spending on average 25 minutes a day independently reading books.

    First Place: 8thanators + 1:
    Caleb Konovaloff, Michael Uttmark, Shannon Ricciardi, Payton Rollag (Kayla Nagel not present)

    Second Place: Band Kids:
    Noelle Gasper, Nathanial Bennett, Mallory Hunt (Hailey Pearce and Darlene Salcedo not present)

    Third Place: Pagemasters:
    Darrien Maxwell, Allison Winch, Christopher Levy, Callie Paxton (Andrew Snyder not present)
OHMS began the battle in October, forming teams, and developing strategies. Students divided the books among team members, and began the long journey of reading the 30 books, one at a time. Students chose their own teams and their own book titles within the list.

Reading statistics worldwide demonstrate girls are stronger readers than boys. But at OHMS males choose to actively read and are motivated to compete.

PTA bought the books during the year 2009-2010 from their book fair profits. Volunteers covered and labeled the books. PTA organized and served a meal before the contest, purchased the prizes, and helped all year long! Michelle Selden-Jackson and Wendy Lamb were chairwomen.

Oregon and Alaska have statewide programs for Battle of the Books, but in Washington it is not a statewide activity. OHMS Library has sponsored Mythology Bees, Spelling Bees, and Poetry Slams.


Battle of the Books selection
Melting Stones (Fantasy by Tamora Pierce)
Telling Christina Goodbye (Realistic Fiction by Lurene McDaniel)
A Corner of the Universe (Realistic Fiction by Ann Martin)
Slam! (Sports Fiction by Walter Dean Myers)
A Season of Gifts (Realistic Fiction by Richard Peck)
An Innocent Soldier (War Fiction by Josef Holub)
Fablehaven (Fantasy by Brandon Mull)
Point Blan (Adventure by Anthony Horowitz)
Belle Teal (Realistic Fiction by Ann Martin)
The Boy Who Dared (Historical Fiction by Susan Bartoletti)
Does My Head Look Big In This? (Realistic Fiction by Randa Abdel-Fattah)
Elephant Run (Historical Fiction by Roland Smith)
Someone Named Eva (Historical Fiction by Joan M. Wolf)
Deep Down Popular (Realistic Fiction by Phoebe Stone)
Sunrise Over Fallujah (War Fiction by Walter Dean Myers)
Inkheart (Fantasy by Cornelia Funke)
Million-Dollar Throw (Sports Fiction by Mike Lupica)
Scat (Mystery by Carl Hiaasen)
Distant Waves ("Historical Fantasy" by Suzanne Weyn)
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (Plays by Laura Amy Schlitz)
Savvy (Fantasy by Ingrid Law)
My Thirteenth Winter (Biography by Samantha Abeel)
The Secret Garden (Classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett)
Chasing Lincoln's Killer (Non-fiction by James L. Swanson)
The Invisible Man (Fantasy by H. G. Wells)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Little Women (Classic by Louisa May Alcott)
The War of the Worlds (Science Fiction by H. G. Wells)
Jane Eyre (Classic/Gothic by Charlotte Bronte)
Robinson Crusoe (Classic/Adventure by Daniel Defoe)