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The love of books

By Julie Matuszewski: photos courtesy of Chelsey Nielson

Photo of TTE fifth graders found Masterminds

TTE fifth graders found Masterminds to be their favorite book. Meetings to discuss each book were held outside in person, as well as virtually on Zoom.

Timber Tail Elementary (TTE) students have a passion for books and fun, which is what the Books and Battles competition was all about. Typically known as Battle of the Books, this year Douglas County Libraries (DCL) offered a modified online quiz show. This year’s event took on a new name and feel with its virtual enhancements. Students competed individually from their homes in a series of three online quiz shows hosted by DCL. Although this year’s events were held virtually, many TTE fourth and fifth grade students returned for another season of quiz show book events and still more third grade participants signed up to compete for the first time.

Photo of Fifth grader Ari Griffin

Fifth grader Ari Griffin shows her excitement as she placed third overall for the fifth and sixth graders.

Quiz show events took place over a span of three weeks with 150 student participants from various Douglas County schools. The questions themselves did not follow the usual “in which book” battle of the books format. Multiple choice questions covering all three program books were asked during each weekly quiz show with the fastest correct answers accumulating the most points. TTE first-time third grade participant Ottilie Melville took third place overall in the final battle, while third grader Taryn Pettis took seventh place overall in the second battle.

Photo of First time participant Taryn Pettis

First time participant Taryn Pettis took seventh place overall in the third battle. Out of the third grade list of books, Pettis really enjoyed Flora and Ulysses because she liked the drawings and villains. She compared it to a funny comic book.

Third grade Books and Battles coach Chelsey Nielson loved seeing which books resonated with each student and enjoyed watching them support one another. Battle of the Books is usually played as a team, but with this year’s changes, the kids competed individually, making it extremely competitive to be successful. For Nielson, it was so fun to see the kids cheer for each other during their practice battles. Nielson said the students are always good about congratulating the winners first before worrying about their own success.

The hard work of coaches and students made this year’s event both accessible and fun. Fourth grader Leyna Sanford said she loved it and gave the experience a 10. She enjoyed working with her team because they were determined.



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