Five students from Pearl River took part in the Ramapo Catskill Library System’s 4th annual Battle of the Books Saturday at Haverstraw King’s Daughters Memorial Library.
The Battle of the Books is a yearly competition allowing children in grades 9-12 to compete in a trivia elimination game based on eight books. Each round has 15 questions worth one point each, in which a team must answer with the book’s full title and author.
Tean Librarian Christine Linder led Pearl River Public Library's team of Genevieve Henderson, Erin McDermott, Kate Dorman, Michael Moscatt, and Damian Zalewski.
“The team began preparing in April, reading the books, discussing the details, and practicing with the buzzer,” said Linder. “Each month we focused on and practiced something different.”
“A lot goes into the preparation for this event,” explained Kathy Rose, director of the Pearl River Public Library. “Librarians from each library meet months in advance to choose the right books, recruit children, and plan the event.”
Linder explained that books are chosen by a variety of criteria based on popularity and genre. They are selected to appeal to both younger and older readers and both boys and girls.
In the first round, Pearl River competed against Nyack Library and in a close match pulled ahead for a narrow 7-6 victory. The team then moved ahead into the semifinals, competing against Livingston Manor Free Library. They gave this round a good fight, but ultimately lost, 10-3.
Despite this loss, the team still had a chance to take third place. Pearl River and Moffat Library of Washingtonville then battled, and Pearl River won the round by seven points. Pearl River was then up against Rose Memorial Library of Stony Point. In a close match, Pearl River won third place with a final score of 8 to 7.
In the championship match, New City Library won first place, with Livingston Manor placing in second. New City cheered as Livingston congratulated them on their victory.
“This event makes reading fun and exciting” said Linder.
Each competitor left with a smile, a drive to do better next year, and a goody bag filled with books.
“I’m glad I came here and did this” said Kate Dorman, a seventh grader.
“This is the truest representation of what we do,” said Linder, “read books, talk about them, and have fun while doing it.”