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Liberty, Sparkman ‘battle’ it out over books

Media specialists Jennifer Padgett and Sandy Brand readied students for the "Battle of the Books." (CONTRIBUTED)
Media specialists Jennifer Padgett and Sandy Brand readied students for the “Battle of the Books.” (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Sparkman and Liberty middle schools are accustomed to battling it out on the football field and basketball court. Students recently ‘fought’ a skirmish in the library.

Sandy Brand, media specialist at Sparkman, wanted to stage a “Battle of the Books” and turned to fellow media specialist and friend Jennifer Padgett at Liberty.

“Battle of the Books is a collaborative competition for strong readers who enjoy reading a wide variety of books,” Brand said. Team members were required to read five books of different genres and submit 20 questions and answers for each book.

“It’s a great way for students who want to compete in activities outside of athletics,” Brand said. “Even for students who like to read a lot , the battle introduced them to genres they might not ordinarily read.”

The Sparkman team included eighth-graders Glenda Booker, Jacob Bowling, David Shaw and Ally Whittemore; sixth-graders Isaac Dance and Lilly Melicks; and seventh-grader Sam Sellers, an alternate.

Liberty competitors were eighth-graders Kimberly Uribe and Hope Padgett and seventh-graders Sarah Florence, Navya Kolli, Sydney Howard and Jessica Whigham.

Book choices were “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar,” mystery, Ransom Riggs; “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25,” science fiction, Richard Paul Evans; “Matched,” dystopia, Ally Condie; “Trapped,” action/adventure, Michael Northrop; “One Crazy Summer,” historical fiction, Rita Williams-Garcia; and “The False Prince,” action/adventure, Jennifer Nielsen.

A question for “One Crazy Summer” was, “What was Cecile’s poem about her children?” (Answer —  “I Birthed a Nation.”) For “Matched,” how many songs and compositions were saved after the republic was formed? (Answer — 100.)

Liberty and Sparkman teams practiced by drilling each other on the question/answer sets. They met for ‘battle’ in the Sparkman library in March.

“After battling it out for five rounds, the Liberty team emerged victorious,” Brand said. In a post-battle reception, Brand and Padgett commended the students’ dedication to the cause of reading.

Hope Padgett entered the ‘battle’ “because it seemed pretty fun, and it was. It was interesting to analyze books with other people.”

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