BY MICHELLE MILLER
The ninth year of BOB, a battle of the books club at Cooperstown Central School, is wrapping up. However, the students will be sent home with summer reading lists so they can compete next year.
Adviser and librarian Michelle Hitchcock said middle schoolers are required to read 20 titles and high schoolers are asked to read 16 books. Teammembers can split the reading assignments, but the best teams are made up of students who read all the books, according to Hitchcock.
The high school list is shorter because their work load is more strenuous, she said.
Students are given almost a year to read. Hitchcock said she divides students into teams of four and the teams go to compete against other area school districts.
BOB member Eden Griger said each team takes a written test with questions about the books in March. She said students must correctly identify the titles and authors, and the test helps determine which teams will compete in competition against teams from Fort Plain and Dolgeville.
“For the competition, the teams are given a quote or a scenario from one of the chosen books,” she said. “To get the correct answer they must give the title and author of the book the questions pertain to. If they answer correctly, their team will get two points; one for the correct title, and one for the correct author. However, for each incorrect answer, they lose a point.”
This year’s competition was held on March 27. CCS won the middle school and high school battles. Griger said Cooperstown has won the middle school competition for the past three years.
The middle school winning team was made up of students Anna Greene, Abby LeCates, Sylvia Johnson and Alexandra Russo. The first three have been on the same team for three years and Russo joined a couple years ago. The high school team that won included Abby Brown, Maya Bergamasco, Maddy Sandler and Lindsay Harloff. They have all competed before, but formed a new team this year.
Hitchcock said Cooperstown has been battling Fort Plain for nine years. Dodgeville joined the local competition about five years ago, she added.
“We try to rotate where we go to compete. We typically go to museums. We have been to places such as the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art and the Baseball Hall of Fame,” she said.
According to Hitchcock, whichever team wins the local competition gets to take home the house cup for a year and the names of the winners are placed onto it. A CCS team won the competition this year, so the trophy sits in the library on top of a book shelf.
CCS students also participated in the 10th annual Battle of the Books competition held the last week of March at the New York State Museum in Albany. Districts represented included Roxbury, Dolgeville, Fort Plain and CCS.
During the battle, no titles were repeated and no sequels were used, Hitchcock said. Cooperstown took the high school title and Roxbury won the middle school competition.
Ninth-graders Grace Heneghan, Rebecca Odell, Eden Griger and Max Ofer have been on the same BOB team for two years. Heneghanand Griger joined the club in the seventh grade, and Odell and Offer began participating in the sixth grade.
“I have kids that began in the sixth-grade who are now 11th-graders,” Hitchcock said. The adviser said the club has included sixth- through 12th-graders since its beginning, but starting next year, participants will have to be in grades seven through 12. Members of the club get together during lunch and after school mostly, according to Hitchcock. She said how much the group meets all depends on the year and the students.
The consensus is liking to read is what gets students involved in the club. Ofer said not only does he love reading, but he feels he learns a lot from it.
Heneghan said: “It’s really just for fun. We get to get together with other people with a common interest and do something together we all enjoy.”
President of the club, Tom Frank, said he joined the club in the sixth grade and was on a team that beat ninth graders. He said the young team was able to compete against older students because an exception to the rules.
“It actually happened twice,” he said.
The junior said he became a member of BOB because he likes to read and it was the first non-sport activity that appealed to him. Frank said being forceful with the buzzer is key to success, just like with quiz team, of which he is amember.
“There is a true skill in knowing when to buzz in and when not to,” he said. Hitchcock said 50 students participated in BOB this year. The club will host its annual end of the year meeting in June
BY MICHELLE MILLER
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