One of Edna M. Moyle Primary School student Simon Hansson’s favorite books is “Brothers at Bat,” the tale of a 1930s family that was big enough to form its own baseball team.
“It’s where 12 bothers play baseball and they think their sisters aren’t allowed to play baseball – in the old days they thought sports were for boys,” Simon explained.
Simon was one of 150 students on 25 teams who were quizzed about that book and nine others at the Lera Parchment Battle of the Books competition at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay on Saturday. Participants were from schools all over the territory, including Cayman Brac.
Battle of the Books is an annual children’s reading competition organized by volunteers from the Cayman Islands Information Professionals, a library association promoting literacy and advocating for libraries.
The competition is now in its fourth year, growing from 16 teams that participated last year.
The competition is named after the late Lera Parchment. Her son, Richard Parchment, explained that she was an avid reader, going through about 100 books per year in her lifetime – despite having only gone through two years of formal schooling.
St. Ignatius Catholic School dominated this year’s Battle of the Books, winning both the 7 to 10-year-old and 11 to 14-year-old divisions, and also taking the runner-up spot in the latter division. Cayman Prep was the runner-up in the younger division.
Next year, Public Library Service Deputy Director Paul Robinson, one of the competition’s organizers, said he expects even more teams to compete in the future.
“The event is growing, so we need more volunteers,” he said.