I did the most fun thing earlier this month. I was a judge for the Loudoun County Public School’s Battle of the Bands. This county-wideprogram has groups from each high school challenging one another to facts found in ten books. I had to read the books prior to the Battle so I would be able to defend an answer in the event of a challenge from one of the teams. Here is my name plate (note the corected spelling):
Reading ten books was nothing compared to the work some of these groups put in. The captains from the winning team at Briar Woods High School had been reading the books and writing their own questions (to challenge themselves and their teammates) since May 2013. That’s right. They had spent 11 months preparing.
Being a judge was really fun because it made me read the 10 titles closer than I’d read a book in a while. However, the questions asked were so specific even I needed to consult the answer key. How the teams knew so much about each title was beyond me. For those of you interested in the titles, they were:
- Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu
- Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
- Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby
- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
- Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
- Rocketboys by Homer Hickam, Jr.
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
- Full Body Burden-Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Each of these were first-time reads to me, save The Fault in Our Stars. I, once again, loved it and cried at multiple points, and cannot wait to see the movie. June. Come faster.
Full Body Burden scared the living hell out of me. Click above to read my review.
Back to the Battle…
I attended a semi-final battle at John Champe High School, whose post-Battle reception was TFIOS themed. They had a cool photo-booth area, quotes from the movie printed and hung around the room, and other Amsterdam- and travel-themed decorations. The final battle was at Briar Woods High School who chose the theme Rocketboys. The rocket ship decorations were cute, and they even had marzipan rockets atop their cupcakes. Super adorable! A big “THANK YOU” to the host librarian who bought us judges a gift and supplied us with coffee and snacks. How nice of her!!
I hope to judge again next year, or otherwise be a part of the event. It was a lot of fun, and the passion the teens had was really amazing to see. Their knowledge of the books was so much more than memorization. One teen – a teen from my days at the Rust Library, in fact – challenged us on an answer and totally owned it and we told him such. I was quite proud of him, as I was of all who participated.
Now…if only they had something like this for adults. Because otherwise, spouting out book facts makes me look like a pretentious lit nerd.