Mineral Wells Index
— By TYLER MASK
This year’s Battle of the Books was a close call, as judges said a mere three points separated first from third place. But in the end, Garner’s Book Dynasty and Eye of the Reader teams took home first and second prize, respectively, and one of Mineral Wells’ teams, Rebel Readers, took home third.
The event, which has successfully run for 12 years, is put on by Mineral Wells ISD’s Travis Elementary.
This year, 10 teams hailing from Poolville, Perrin-Whitt, Jacksboro, Mineral Wells and Garner battled it out in the Mineral Wells High School gym. Teams consisted of students grades four through six, with five students per team. But it’s not just a matter of being on a team – this event required dedication and training.
Teachers and parents spent endless hours this past year in an effort to prepare their kids for the competition.
“It is pretty neat to see all the kids,” Hammond said of the competition. “They have worked all year long. The time they have taken reading and analyzing these stories really helps develop their critical thinking skills.”
In order to compete, individuals had to read 14 books written by well-known authors, which were assigned when competition training began. Students also had to take a qualifying written test, that was then scored and used to created teams. Only students with the highest scores made the cut. It is very competitive, Travis Librarian Cathy Hammond said.
“It was designed to encourage kids to read, to develop a love of learning, to read for pleasure, and again to build those critical reading skills in analyzing literature.”
The winning teams are as follows:
• First place, Book Dynasty, coached by Tiffany McBride, with team members Stephanie Shaw, captain, Kyleigh McBride, MacKynlee McBride, Andreya Ortiz and Bella Shaw.
• Second place, Eye of the Reader, coached by Trish Johnson with aid from team parent Christina Garza, with team members Jocelyn Fields, captain, Adryan Brian, Gabby Garza, Sasha Kirsch and Jacob Maisel.
• Third place, Rebel readers, coached by JoBeth Montgomery, Stacey Pierce and Glenda Valencia with aid from team parent Sara Beasley, with team members Jessie Lyons, captain, Taylor Beasley, Zaniya Pruitt, Alondra Villegas and Mackenzie Pearson.
Although not every student or faculty member has a direct hand in the event, none of this would happen without the backing of Travis.
“We appreciate all of the support of Travis, as this is a campus wide effort,” Hammond said in closing.