Opinion

A serious show of Valley literacy, and how we can support it

 Fall City Elementary team captain Chloe Barber is swarmed by teammates whispering the answer to a question.  - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Fall City Elementary team captain Chloe Barber is swarmed by teammates whispering the answer to a question.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

The Battle of the Books is not for the faint of heart.

If you’ve never gone to the annual Battle of the Books—a Jeopardy game-show-style battle that puts teams of elementary-age readers in competition to see which school has the most storybook smarts—then you’ve missed out.

Security is actually pretty tight on the actual questions—we couldn’t get an advance copy. The questions themselves are challenging enough that you can see it in the kids’ faces as they dig deep to find the answers.

It’s awesome in this supposedly dumbed down, digital age that young people take reading and knowledge of fictional worlds so seriously. Besides the excitement of competition, and the great photos that result from it, the reason I’ve always ensured we cover the Battle of the Books is for what it says about books, about the printed word, about stories and tales.

Our society lives by literacy. We should all celebrate it. Promote reading in your home. When you see someone reading a book, in any form, on paper or on a little screen, take note. Consider joining the Friends of your local libraries. The Friends of the Fall City hold their monthly meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 21. North Bend’s Friends meet on the second Monday of the month.  Snoqualmie’s Friends meet on the third Wednesday of each March and September. To get involved, visit your local library, and don’t forget to support these groups in their annual book sales.

For aspiring battlers out there, the reading list for the 2015 Battle of the Books should be available in your local elementary school in the next month. Explore those worlds. With luck and effort, we’ll see you in the competition next year.

 

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