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Team Princeton Captures Battle of the Books at Illing

Billed as a “fun and exciting reading competition for the whole school,” Battle of the Books has become a tradition at Illing Middle School.

This year’s competition came to a head on Thursday (April 28), when the eighth-graders of Team Princeton defeated Team URI (the best of the seventh-graders) to win the championship and with it a trophy and bragging rights.

“The kids on Team Princeton  were very serious,” said Paul Rippington, who serves as the emcee of the BOTB tournament (but whose official title is IMS library media specialist).  “They were meeting regularly, coming up with possible questions and really preparing.”

Members of the winning team: Jason Weekes, Luciana Mauriello, Genna Harlow, Hector Sanchez, Jalen Tasby, Adriana Campbell, Liam Chenette, Brennen Ruganis, Olivia McHugh, Noor Majid, Aisha Affin and  Victoria Rivera.

Battle of the Books began during the 2011-12 school year and has evolved into quite the event.

It begins with qualifying rounds with matches pitting grade 7 teams against one another until they get a grade level champ, while the same thing is happening among the eighth-graders.

In each round, students are given a set of six (or so) books to read and about a month to do so. Not all team members read all the books -- but at least one member of each team needs to be prepared for the ‘battles,’ which use a quiz-show type format.

Rippington reads questions and participants have to ‘buzz in’ and answer correctly to earn points.

Because a different set of books is used for each battle, Rippington said about 100 different titles are available -- and for each different book they need a different set of questions.

“There’s a lot to it,” he said, referring to the preparation that’s need to hold the event. “But it’s worth it.

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