Mock BOB Battles Round 1, 5 and 6

In the video above, you can hear a few seconds of the student defending, March Book One

Our Mock BOB continued on March 13th when students defended the books in Round 1 battles 5 and 6. The first book up was Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli. Tameka was slated for the defense and that was an issue as she couldn't attend the second lunch battle because she takes a college course off campus. A teacher had a great idea and suggested that I should make a video of Tameka on my iPad and play it back during the second lunch through my computer. Second lunch begins  immediately, so I didn't have time to do any editing, just play the video back. It was a great suggestion, but .... Isn't there always a but. We are in a brand new school. As you can see in the pictures below, we have a podium with permanent microphones. It worked great for the student when they got up to speak. We have two huge tv screens hanging in the common area, and some day I will be able to hook my computer up to the screens to show a presentation like the video of Tameka. The system just hasn't been hooked up yet. So I had to use little external speakers that I attached to my computer, but they just could not amplify the sound in the commons area loud enough for the audience. That was a  big disappointment to me. Anyway, I tried to repeat Tameka's explanation of the book. She described the world Hokey Pokey where there are only kids, no adults, and Jack, a big kid, serves as their leader, and she explained how there is a main plot and several sub-plots, and she found the coming of age theme that pervaded quite charming. Tameka is a senior, and she was up against Dillon a sixth grader who was championing March Book One by John Lewis. He loved it. When Dillon spoke, he gave some anecdotes from the story and explained how Lewis began his life dedicated to civil rights at a young age. He told us how he could relate to the story because like John Lewis, he has chickens, too that he loves. Though that is by no means a major thread in the book, it did resonate with Dillon. Anyway, after all was said and done, Hokey Pokey was the students' favorite. The students just like a good fictional story no matter how well the history is presented.

Addendum: (Tom Angelberger, the SLJ author judge, was also charmed by Hokey Pokey and selected it for his choice in this battle. Click here to see what he had to say on the two books.)

Students listen intently to the book presenations

Standing at the podium gives each defender a feeling of power

During the second battle on Thursday, Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick was up against P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Garcia-Williams. Nuri and Fred spoke up for Sedgewick's book. They explained how the seven separate stories intertwined and that as a reader, you had to figure out the connections between each story. That made the book a lot of fun to read, and both of them were fans of the work. Paris read Garcia-Williams' book and described how her book was a sequel to One Crazy Summer. She had not read the first one, but that did not detract from her enjoyment of this work. Paris is not usually a big fan of historical fiction, but I think that this story spoke to her, and she could could see herself in the sisiters. One of the middle school boys said to me when the students' finished their books' sale pitch that he just didn't know how to vote because both books sounded really good to him. When all the votes were tallied, it was Midwinterblood that stood its ground and spoke most to the kids.

Addendum: (Mac Barnett, the SLJ author judge, did not hold back when voicing his opinion on this battle. He had no love at all to give Sedgewick's book, and you can click here to read why he picked  P.S. Be Eleven.)

Middle school students eat lunch during the book battle

The audience learns that Midwinterblood is a very different kind of story


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