Red Oak Middle School earned first place recognition at the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Battle of the Books during the competition held March 5 at the Nash Arts Building.
Students from all six middle schools were quizzed on characters, details, plots, settings and quotes from the 26 novels required for this year’s competition.
Novels such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith and “The Land” by Mildred Taylor were among the titles on the 2013-2014 list published by the North Carolina School Library Media Association.
Red Oak Middle School, coached by Cori Burroughs, won the competition with 81 points, followed by Edwards Middle School, who placed second with 71 points.
Third place was awarded to Southern Nash Middle School with 66 points. Nash Central Middle School had a close 65 points, followed by Rocky Mount Middle School and Parker Middle School.
“I am so fortunate to have this incredible group of students to work with,” said Cori Burroughs, Coach of Red Oak’s Team. “They have worked hard preparing for today and we are excited to represent Nash-Rocky Mount at the regional competition.”
“Battle Of the Books is a wonderful program that enhances a love for reading,” said Marcy Keener, one of the two coaches from Edwards Middle. “It is a pleasure to see the students develop into a group of young adults that sacrifice personal time to read and attend practices.
With the support from their parents, students are motivated to read “one more book” and try their best in all that they do!”
The North Carolina School Library Media Association releases the Battle of the Books List for the next school year each spring.
Many of the students began reading selected books over the summer to get a head start before school began, according to several of the coaches.
Once school started and team members were selected, students met in peer literary groups to discuss the books and build their understanding of each work.
Inference skills and making connections between the stories and their personal lives to aid in remembering were part of their “study groups,” as was memorizing all 26 titles and corresponding authors.
“To see the enthusiasm for reading the students bring to this competition each year is amazing,” said Laura Parrott, Battle of the Books Coordinator. “Watching the students collaborate and encourage one another to become a united team is the true spirit of this competition. All students who participated should be commended for their commitment to reading.”
Red Oak Middle School’s team will advance to the regional competition March 27 in Johnston County.