A total of 80 students from seven schools competed in Champaign Public Library’s 11th annual Battle of the Books on February 22, 2014. This team competition for grades 3 to 5 teaches students about black history while it promotes reading.
For several weeks prior to the event, students study 25 books, both fiction and nonfiction, related to black history. At the competition, teams are quizzed on details from those books and must reach a consensus as they answer multiple choice and true/false questions.
The popular competition originated at the Douglass Branch Library, but outgrew that space and is now held at the Main Library. This year’s top three teams were from Kenwood, Bottenfield, and South Side schools. Additional teams came from Barkstall, Carrie Busey, Dr. Howard, and Robeson.
A tie-breaking round was needed to determine the finalists, reflecting how well-prepared the students were. Coordinator Amanda Raklovits says, “This program really showcases the hard work, dedication, and teamwork of the participants. I’m consistently impressed with how well they know these books and how well they work together as a team. It’s such an exciting event from start to finish!”