North Baldwin Battle of the Books is an annual reading competition event open to all fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students in the area served by Baldwin County High School. Students at participating schools read five chapter books (five sets of the required reading titles provided by a grant from the North Baldwin Coalition for Excellence in Education – NBCEE). Throughout the entire school year, students discuss and study these books in relation to genre, plot, setting, theme, characterization as well as literary elements such as simile, metaphor, personification, idiom and point of view. In addition to providing coaching sessions with team members during the school day, Battle of the Books school librarians at the participating schools (Gail Richerson, LMS at Bay Minette Intermediate; Kathy Wright, LMS at Bay Minette Middle; Ronda Campbell, LMS at Delta; and Trachy Miller, LMS at Perdido) provide opportunities for students to do online assignments outside of school. To be a member of their school’s Battle of the Books academic team, students must take the personal initiative do this preparation work in addition to their regular classroom work.
The competition event, a quick question and answer exchange, is held in the spring of each year at the Baldwin County High School Library, thanks to librarians Betsy Long and Kristy Weatherford. Students must work together as a team to be competitive. This year’s winning team was Bay Minette Intermediate School, laying claim to the Battle of the Books trophy and bragging rights for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.
Thanks to generous community business and service organization sponsors, there is no cost whatsoever for the students. All participating students receive a Battle of the Books t-shirt and an individual reading medal, enjoy a picnic lunch, and are treated to an afternoon of skating at the Bay Minette Recreation Complex on competition day.
Sponsors, in addition to NBCEE, for this sixth annual event, held on Thursday April 27, include Bay Minette Recreation Complex, Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Atmore, Piggly Wiggly in Bay Minette, the Stockton Five Arts Club, Strickland Orthodontics, and Tillery & Tyrell DMD.
Serving as judges this year were Joanna Bailey, Director of the Bay Minette Public Library; Tina Covington, representing NBCEE and the City of Bay Minette; and David Cox, representing the Baldwin County School Board.