Secondary Battle of the Books Reboot 2023

Posted On Friday June 02, 2023

May 31, 2023

On Wednesday, secondary students from NorKam, Sa-Hali, Westsyde, South-Kam, and Valleyview descended on the Henry Grube Education Centre to engage in an epic contest of scholastic prowess to see which team would emerge victorious in this year’s Secondary Battle of the Books. Throughout the day, students participated in a series of literary challenges designed to test their knowledge, creativity, and teamwork, including a Book Pitch Competition, three grueling rounds of Jeopardy, and an intellectually demanding Loose Parts design contest.

In the early rounds of Jeopardy, it looked like Sa-Hali Secondary was unstoppable, but a hard-fought Loose Parts Contest placed victory within the grasp of all five of these amazing teams heading into the final round of Jeopardy. When the dust settled and the final scores were tallied, however,NorKam had edged out the competition to become this year’s champions, heading home with bragging rights and a stylish trophy lovingly crafted by Ms. Bell.

Sa-Hali placed second, followed by Westsyde, South-Kam, and Valleyview. Every member of every team should be proud of their performance.

This year, a record sixty students took part in The Secondary Battle of the Books. Each year, the number of participants increases, largely due to the tireless efforts of teachers and teacher-librarians who work with students at their respective schools, organizing book clubs where everyone can feel safe, heard, and included. These clubs are places that help to foster a love of reading and a sense of community and shared interests, and the competition at the end is just for fun.

The secondary “Battle Books” are largely chosen by the students themselves, and represent a diverse range of perspectives, authors, and genres.  This year’s list consisted of more than ten titles, including Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Some students read all of the listed books, while others only read one or two. Still, if one student reads just a little more than they might have otherwise, or, more importantly, finds themselves at home in a book club where they feel just a little less alone, everyone wins.

The Battle of the Books is far more than a competition because it embodies many of our SD73 priorities: it helps ensure that every student acquires strong foundation skills and core competencies, particularly literacy skills and critical and creative thinking abilities. The Secondary Battle also helps connect students to their passions, honours First Peoples’ perspectives and worldviews (as well as a myriad of other perspectives and worldviews), and helps foster an inclusive, adaptable and accountable culture.

So, although NorKam took home the trophy, everyone went home a winner after this year’s Battle of the Books.

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