Photo courtesy of Five Acre School/ NOLS Librarian Charlotte McGrew stands with Five Acre School’s Team Kiwis, from second left, Emma Tran, Cascadia Cammett, Miles Taylor, Norah Madjdi-Pickett and Spencer Armstrong after they won the 2023 Battle of the Books.

Photo courtesy of Five Acre School/ NOLS Librarian Charlotte McGrew stands with Five Acre School’s Team Kiwis, from second left, Emma Tran, Cascadia Cammett, Miles Taylor, Norah Madjdi-Pickett and Spencer Armstrong after they won the 2023 Battle of the Books.

Battle of the Books award goes to Five Acre School

Fourth graders finish reading competition

SEQUIM — Five Acre School’s fourth graders came out on top in North Olympic Library System’s annual Battle of the Books.

The trivia-style competition last Friday saw 65 students on 13 teams from 12 schools compete at the Port Angeles Library. NOLS oversees libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay.

Two hundred-plus fourth-grade students from 15 schools and three homeschool programs received four books to keep, and NOLS youth services librarians visited classrooms monthly between November to February to lead book discussions.

Trivia questions covered characters, story and concepts from “Stepping Stones” by Lucy Knisley, “Power Forward” by Hena Kahn, “Lena and the Burning of Greenwood” by Nikki Shannon Smith, and “A Wish in the Dark” by Christina Soontornvat.

“Battle of the Books is an experience that kids remember,” said Jennifer Lu’Becke, a NOLS youth services librarian.

“The fourth graders, schoolmates in other grades — and sometimes entire schools — catch the excitement and join in reading the books. It builds a community of readers.”

Five Acre School’s Explorer Class teacher (fourth-sixth grade) Heidi Pedersen said Team Kiwi of Spencer Armstrong, Cassy Cammett, Norah Madjdi-Pickett, Miles Taylor and Emma Tran had a great time.

“For me the joy of this program was watching our students work together, both in the mock battle at school and in the final battle last night at the library,” Pedersen said.

“It was a bonus that we won by 0.5 points, but honestly, feeling the support the students had for each other and having some of their classmates there to cheer them on was incredibly heart-warming.”

Schools that participated in the final trivia competition included from Sequim: Five Acre School, Greywolf Elementary, Helen Haller Elementary, Olympic Peninsula Academy; from Port Angeles/Joyce: Crescent Elementary, Dry Creek Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Hamilton Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Pacific Northwest Discovery Academy (Pac West), Queen of Angels, and Roosevelt Elementary; and one alternate team with students from various schools.

Friends groups from Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks and Clallam Bay sponsor the event and help fund books for area children.

Pedersen said she thanks Charlotte McGrew, Sequim’s youth services librarian, for coming to fourth grade classrooms to encourage readers.

“I applaud and thank the parents for engaging with their children at home with the books they read and prioritizing reading, and for providing (photos),” Pedersen said.

For more information about this program, visit nols.org/BoB.

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