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A battle of the minds -- and books

Liberty Ridge Elementary students faced off against one another in teams of five in the Battle of the Books on March 3. Students answered trivia questions about the assigned books. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

There are books that sweep readers into a figurative heat of battle, a scenario set on a page. In the case of several Liberty Ridge student readers, however, some books can also take one on a literal battlefield, one known as the "Battle of the Books."

Liberty Ridge Elementary hosted its fourth annual Battle of the Books on March 3 when 50, 10 teams of five, fourth and fifth grade students drew their weapons of the mind and competed for victory.

"Students enjoy getting together with friends and talking about the books," Betsy Hickey, co-coordinator of Battle of the Books, said. "Others enjoy the competing and discovering who can remember the most about the 12 books."

Battle of the Books is a national reading incentive program where students read books and come together to demonstrate their abilities and test their knowledge of the books they have read.

All 12 books this year are nominees for the Maud Hart Lovelace award.

Hickey said students really enjoy competing because it's fun to show what they know, and it doesn't hurt that they get exposed to some great literature along the way.

"The students get a chance to read books that they might not have chosen themselves," she said.

"I think there are many things that draw students to reading; some enjoy getting lost in the world that the author created, others like to learn about different people and the experiences they have. I think that if it is a well-told story they can't help but fall under the author's spell."

In addition to the students just having fun reading and competing, Battle of the Books also aims to expose children to reading and hopefully inspire them to read more.

"The main goal of the event is to foster a love of reading by having the students read quality childrens literature; ultimately, we just want the children to love reading," she said.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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