Elementary Battle of the Books 2019

Elementary Battle of the Books
By: Todd Martin
After enduring endless pages of training in the arts of literary themes, settings and plots, the teams gathered on the field of battle to test their knowledge among their peers.
A total of 15 Killeen ISD elementary schools sent teams to the Killeen ISD Elementary Battle of the Books that culminated Saturday at Iduma Elementary School.
After two rounds of 25 questions each, Reeces Creek Elementary School finished in first place, followed by Venable Village and Oveta Culp Hobby elementary schools.
“I’m proud of all of them,” Reeces Creek Librarian Dina D’Amore said of her own victorious students and those from across the school district.
The difference between the first and second finishers and the second and third finishers came down to single questions.
Killeen ISD digital learning specialists Anna Adam and Holly Landez planned and hosted the event, where parents and other fans watched closely as students answered questions with the quiz game Kahoots.
Questions of setting, characterization, plot and other literary topics came from 20 Texas Bluebonnet Award-winning youth books. The KISD Education Foundation awarded grants to provide T-shirts and books for the elementary and middle school battle of the books.
Teams of up to five third- through fifth-graders battled it out in the two rounds with a break between. The only exception, Hobby Elementary, which only goes to third grade, was the youngest group and still finished in the top 3.
“It’s so competitive and that’s good because it’s all about getting kids to read,” said D’Amore. She pointed out that the competition is another opportunity for students who are not drawn to sports, science or other activities.
The book club at Reeces Creek drew more than 20 students, though the team could only take five competitors and an alternate. The team included Ian Young, Nana Leo-Nkoah, Aiden Mahoney, Christine Kim, Rania Warriach and Rabia Warriach.
Those six students read all 20 of the books included in this year’s competition. The event, they said, was fun and competitive. They also found the reading satisfying.
“I liked reading the books. I didn’t think I would, but I did,” said Leo-Nkoah.
“It was very fun,” said Mahoney, a fifth-grader in his third battle of the books. “It was good competition. There were some tough teams and some tough questions.”
“It was great,” said Rania Warriach. “I liked the questions and it was a good setup. I like reading new books and I wanted to see what it was like. I liked the challenge.”
Several of the students admitted to feeling nervous at times as they worked together to come up with answers to questions and in the end they were surprised to come out on top.
Their coach said she was pleased that a judge complimented her team on their ability to work together. “They are a good team,” D’Amore said. “They support each other. It’s good to hear that from a judge, that they listened to each other.”