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Howard County Library System to host 12th annual 'Battle of the Books'

Forget Battle of the Bands. This is Battle of the Books.

More than 1,500 Howard County public, private and home-schooled fifth-graders will participate in an academic competition that tests their knowledge of 15 books in “a lively arena setting,” according to a news release from the Howard County Library System.

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The showdown kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5. It is the library system’s 12th annual Battle of the Books event.

The six battles will take place simultaneously at Atholton High School, Long Reach High School, Marriotts Ridge High School, Mount Hebron High School, River Hill High School and Wilde Lake High School.

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Lisa Henn, a seventh-grade English teacher at Glenwood Middle School, teaches a section each year called, “Facing Injustice in Our Worlds,” where her students research a historical event where an injustice has occurred and then they create a PowerPoint presentation as well as an art project.

During the battles, the 315 student teams and their one adult coach per team are asked 50 questions related to: a direct quote from a character, a passage taken directly from the book, details about an illustration or picture, and a statement about something that happens in the book.

The purpose of the event is “to improve reading comprehension and build vocabulary among fifth-grade students in an unique and exciting way that also teaches leadership, teamwork and good sportsmanship,” according to a news release.

The first-, second- and third-place teams receive awards. There are other categories including best team name, best model of civility, best team costume and best team spirit.

For more information, visit hclibrary.org/battleofthebooks.

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