MSD Book Club participates in annual Battle of the Books

Kate Becker, Senior News Editor

Julia Landy

“I choose to be happy. Because I can be. Because I deserve to be. Gay means happy, too, you know,” volunteer Jane Claud said, reading aloud to the teams. 

Competitors collaborate with their team members and after 10 seconds hold up a card displaying a book title. 

Coaches from each team call out whether their team answered correctly as a score keeper takes note of each team’s points.

Every year, high school book clubs from across Broward County come together for the Battle of the Books. This 16th annual battle took place in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High media center. This year, eight schools attended the battle on April 19.

The book clubs from Monarch High School, South Plantation High School, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Coral Glades High School, Atlantic Technical College, Pompano Beach High School, Sheridan Technical College and MSD gathered in MSD’s media center for the event.

Each year, Florida Association for Media in Education, the creator of this competition, picks the annual school year Florida Teens Read List: 15 books they recommend students to read. The goal of the competition was to incentivise Broward County book clubs to read the books chosen. The 2021-2022 school year list includes books like “Date Me Bryson Keller” by Kevin van Whye and “This is My America” by Kim Johnson.

“I have read all of the books, some of them multiple times,” MSD freshman Charlotte James said. “I am a very competitive person so I was excited [for the competition]; I am not really one to get nervous.”

Organized by MSD Media Specialist Diana Heneski and English teacher Debbie Jacobson, co-sponsors of the MSD book club, this is the first competition that has been held in person since COVID-19 forced it to be held virtually for the past two years. This is also the first time MSD has hosted and the competition has been held in a schools media center as opposed to a multi-purpose room.

“I am an English teacher here [at MSD] but I’ve been a co-sponsor for Battle of the Books for I think over four years now,” Jacobson said. “I am a book nerd, I can’t get enough. I am a voracious reader and every single year I read all 15 books.”

There were a total of three, 20 minute, rounds. The quotes were read by volunteer Jane Claud and the quotes themselves were chosen by the coaches of each book club. Each correct answer by the teams counted for one point to their score. Snacks were provided to the competitors throughout the competition.

South Plantation won first place, answering 44 out of the 51 questions correctly. After the competition ended everyone enjoyed pizza to celebrate the hard work the clubs put into preparing.