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DA Battle of the Books team wins regional competition
Posted 03/05/2015 02:46PM

Durham Academy Middle School's Battle of the Books team won the regional Battle of the Books competition Wednesday, earning the right to compete in the independent school championship.

The DA team comprises sixth-graders Isabelle Bachman, Chris Burkhard and Asher Fields; seventh-graders Emily Donaldson, Laura-Joelle Geschwindt, Macon Hubert, Esme Longley, Phoebe May, Cristina Pastor-Valverde and Julia Phu; and eighth-graders Nick Fogg and Alex Hoffman.

The DA competitors toppled teams representing Duke School, St. Thomas More School, Ravenscroft School, Carolina Friends School and Greensboro Montessori School in the competition hosted and organized by Durham Academy but held at the Durham Public Library.

In preparation for the Battle of the Books competition — organized by the North Carolina School Library Media Association — the competitors read 27 books with such varied titles as Enrique Flores-Galbis' 90 Miles to Havana and Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond. DA students have been diligently practicing with Battle of the Books coach and Middle School librarian Jennifer Longee since September.

The Battle of the Books competition is similar in style to a quiz bowl competition, with students asked to provide the name and author of one of the 27 books after being presented with a detail from the story.

"During the competition, they performed brilliantly," Longee said. "Out of the 60 questions they were given directly, they got 55 correct. The team also correctly answered 12 out of the 17 rebound questions they received. I was blown away with how they worked together and how much information they retained from the books. It has been a pleasure to coach such a dedicated, hardworking group."

Next up for DA's voracious readers is the independent school championship, set for March 26 at St. Thomas More. The winning team will join eight public schools, representing districts across North Carolina, at the state Battle of the Books championship in May.

An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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