Young readers battle over books

Avid young book readers competed this weekend to show who had digested and connected most with the literature they were reading. 

The Battle of the Books, organized by the Cayman Islands Information Professionals, was held at the George Town Library on Saturday. This year, 55 students took part. 

The two winning teams this year were Neurotic Nerds (5th-6th graders) and Cadbury Craniums (7th-8th graders). Both teams were from St. Ignatius school. 

The contest is a reading incentive program in which students form teams from different schools and read from a list of 20 to 30 books.  

Students were expected to become “experts” on their books and prepare for a final battle of questions about them. The intent of the program is to encourage students to read widely and with depth. 

Paul Robinson, chairman of Cayman Islands International Professionals and deputy director of the Cayman Islands Public Libraries, said the success of the competition showed that “even in a world of e-books, online sources and today’s economic challenges, it’s fantastic to see libraries themselves remaining at the heart of free community learning and information.”  

Each team consisted of between four and eight children, who had three months to read the books.  

The readers were competing for the Lera Parchment Battle of the Books trophy. The trophy is named for the late Rachel Lera Parchment, who was an avid reader and an advocate of education. During her lifetime, she continuously shared and donated her books to other readers and the small library of books she left will be donated to the Cayman Islands Public Library. 

Ashley Welch, program coordinator of the Cayman Islands Information Professionals, said, “It is always a joy to see students get excited about reading.” 

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Students from schools throughout the Cayman Islands took part in the Battle of the Books.
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