April 5, 2024

Meeker Ties For First In Battle of the Books

Battle of the Books (BOTB) 2024 is in the…books…a competition held at the Ames Public Library on March 28. Coming home with a trophy is a team of four Meeker elementary fifth-grade students who tied for first place, the best result in Meeker history. 

“Battle of the Books is a wonderful educational experience for our students that goes beyond just simply reading books,” Meeker teacher librarian Erika Choate said. “It fosters critical thinking, teamwork, cultural appreciation, and a passion for literature. It is a valuable learning opportunity and a fun competition for students that love to read!”

The quartet of Meeker students, led by parent volunteer coach Emily Johnson, includes Zoe Johnson, Josie Ybarra-Rojas, Lydia Girard, and Amelia Jenkins.

BOTB is more than showing up and answering questions about books; it’s also about reading the books on the list.

“We worked really hard for it so I think it’s a really cool accomplishment,” Johnson said. “There were 18 books and four of us so we each read nine books so each book would have two people.”

Amelia corroborates what her classmate Zoe shares: “Winning BOTB also means a lot to me because reading the books took quite a long time and we worked hard for this.”

In addition to reading the books, the four students also took copious notes to prepare. According to Ames Public Library’s page about BOTB, it is imperative to “make sure students are familiar with who the main characters are (names), what the main plot points are, where the story takes place (time in history, setting/location), etc.”

“We worked really hard and made a bunch of notes to make sure we remembered everything,” said Girard.

Whether the quartet competes again as sixth graders is yet to be known. Ybarra-Rojas sums up the victory by echoing her classmates.

“Winning it means a lot, we’re the first ever team to win at Meeker and I think it’s going to make everybody really happy. We haven’t ever done the battle before so it was really cool that we won.”