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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News


[Multimedia] MSD Book Club takes second place in annual Battle of the Books competition

Chelsea Townsend, Victoria Damaso and Ava Thomas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School won second place at the annual Battle of the Books competition in the school’s media center on Wednesday, April 17. At this event, hosted by MSD, 13 schools from across the county met to compete against one another to show their knowledge of books.

Schools could select teams of up to ten people, but only four could participate in each round. The participating students engaged in three total rounds, each with about 15 questions given.

Prior to the battle, cards were provided to the teams and surrounded the members at their table. At the start of a round, a quote from one of the 15 books would be read aloud. The teams had ten seconds to decide which book the quote was from.

Once the time was up, they would hold the card up to the judge at their table. A point was given to every school with a correct answer, and no points were given to schools with incorrect answers.

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Sophomore Marc Lam holds up his card to answer the given question. This round was a part of the Battle of the Books competition, in which students from schools across the county answered trivia questions regarding their assigned books. (Ava Thomas)

The results of the battle led to Western High School taking the victory. This was their first year participating in the event, and their efforts allowed them to succeed. MSD and Pompano Beach High School initially tied for second place, so the two schools went into a sudden death match to determine who would take second place. After two questions, MSD achieved a second-place victory.

“I feel a little disappointed that we did not continue our first-place streak from last year, but I am overall happy with second place,” sophomore Marc Lam said. “It was out of 13 schools, after all.”

After the competition, students from all schools were able to mingle and were given free pizza and cookies by the school. Media Specialists and English teachers from all over the county donated books to the competition, and each student was able to take two of the books home with them. All the schools who participated received a pin, with those who received first, second and third place being awarded personalized pins with their place labeled.

Junior Christina Paillant from Coral Glades High School examines the variety of novels displayed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s media center after the Battle of the Books competition on April 17. The event united book club members from across Broward County to compete against each other using their knowledge on the selected books. (Victoria Damaso)

“My favorite part, we did this last year too, is choosing the books,” Vice President Abigale Lee said. “We all get to choose them, and we all get to discuss. The competition is exciting, too, especially when we’re winning.”

The books selected for the battle are chosen from the 2023-2024 Florida Teen Reads Book List. These are chosen by the Sunshine State Young Readers Award committee, which selects books based on school librarian and student recommendations. These are considered the 15 best teen books of that year, containing a wide variety of authors and genres.

Book Club prepares by having students read as many of the books as possible before the event. One of the 15 books is assigned every two weeks, and students come together during meetings to practice learning quotes through Kahoots.

Book Club President Alexandra Martinez is responsible for organizing these meetings. As competition gets closer, members of Book Club meet after school more frequently and do timed practice in groups to prepare for the event.

The club is sponsored by English teachers Debra Jacobson and Melissa Falkowski and media specialist Diane Haneski. They have taken measures this year to make sure that competitors were as prepared as they could be for the competition. They hope to instill a love of reading in the members, and to provide a space for them to come together and share about books.

“I love hosting the battle of the books because it brings students together who love reading, and they are so into winning that it makes it very exciting,” Haneski said. “That everyone comes in with that attitude, like, ‘We’re gonna win!’ You know, they’re all book lovers. It’s really nice to see that love of reading.”

Next year, members of Book Club plan to take part in the Battle of the Books again and hope to take first place and regain their win streak from last year. They already have begun to address ideas on how to improve their competition, such as having more members reading more of the books.

“Book club welcomes anyone who just wants to come in and talk about books,” Lam said. “Come by if you have the chance.”

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About the Contributors
Chelsea Townsend
Chelsea Townsend, Photo Editor
Chelsea Townsend is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a member of the TV Club; enjoying anything to do with cameras as well as playing chess.
Victoria Damaso
Victoria Damaso, Multimedia Editor
Victoria Damaso is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She enjoys figure skating, listening to music and hanging out with friends in her free time.
Ava Thomas
Ava Thomas, Multimedia Editor
Ava Thomas is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She plays guitar on the weekends and is an officer of Marjory's Garden Club and TV Club.
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