Children battle in Suisun – using book knowledge

By From page A4 | April 25, 2014

book battle 1

Aniyah Holmes holds up the teams answer for the Battle of the Books at Suisun Elementary on Thursday. (Susan Hiland/Daily Republic)

SUISUN CITY — For the first time since 2008, the Battle of the Books commenced with a concentrated silence of fourth- and fifth-graders at the Suisun Elementary School multipurpose room Thursday.

The Battle of the Books is a competition that is concentrated on a pre-selected set of nine books. The goal is to answer questions that come from the books and earn points for your team. The winning team is the one that answers the most questions correctly in the competition.

“I did this because I am the kindergarten teacher and an ex-librarian so I have a little more flexible time to get it organized,” said kindergarten teacher Leslyn Skog.

The battle used to be done yearly at each elementary in the district, with a district battle at the end that included each school’s first-place team, but was dropped when the elementary school librarians were dropped to save money.

“I don’t feel that is fair to the kids, so I continue it because I can at one site,” Skog said.

“I am using some of the same ‘battle books’ as before, but it’s new for the kids. They really seem to enjoy it,” she said.

Not everyone reads each book, so it is hoped that each of the four members will bring knowledge gleaned from the book they read and contribute to the whole.

The books read by the students included “12 Again,” “Number of Stars,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” “The Teacher’s Funeral,” “Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher,” “Ryan and Jimmy and the Well that Brought Them Together,” “George Washington’s Socks,” “The Storyteller’s Beads” and “Al Capone Shines My Shoes.”

“They are really excited about this book because last year we read the first one, ‘Al Capone Does My Shirts’ and this is the sequel,” Skog said.

The children formed 11 groups with names such as The Book Worms, Girl Power, The College Bound Book Thiefs, Adventurous Readers, The Destroyers, The Book Warriors, The Fantastic Four, The Thunder, The Brain Storm Readers and Pitch Perfect.

“The great thing about this competition is that everyone is allowed to participate – not just the top students but anyone who is interested,” said Principal Monifa Williams.

The first-place winners were The Bookworms with Alyza Thomsen, Sofia Pineda, Xu Vang and Carlize Gonzaga; second-place winners were Pitch Perfect, with Belinna Yat, Clarissa Amaya, Nyla Majaraj and Seneca Lee; and third-place winners were The Adventurous Readers, with Ilia Aballa, Leilani Preheim, Geetu Kharbhanda and Nicolas Nguyen.

The winners received gift cards from Target and each child received a copy of the book “Al Capone Shines My Shoes.” The prizes were all provided by the Parent Teacher Association.

“I was told by Alyza that each team member read their two selected books three times, so I think they probably deserved their $25 gift certificates to Target,” Skog said.

Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or [email protected]

Susan Hiland

Susan Hiland

Susan graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a B.A. in Communications. She has eight years experience working for newspapers in Nebraska.

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