North Mahaska sent two six-member teams to compete in the Battle of the Books hosted by the Great Prairie Area Education Agency (GPAEA) in Fairfield on April 26, 2018. Each team read and studied 30 books to prepare for the battle. The Book Addicts, the elementary team, included Lucy Gipple, Andy Knockel, Austin McMahon, Emma Pierce, Colby Sampson, and Clay Thompson. They were coached by Mrs. Shawna Goemaat. The middle school team, We Be Bookin’, consisted of Kei Arthur, Makayla Darland, Aidan Eischen, Cole Garman, Lane Harmon, and Essica Whitehead. They were coached by Mrs. Kate Hite.
Teams were allowed one hour to complete an 60 plus-question, short answer test. While the tests were being scored, students enjoyed a presentation by Iowa author Delia Ray. Although neither North Mahaska team placed in the top five in order to advance to the oral and final round, the middle school team did receive the middle school Spirit Award for their beach wear.
“My favorite book I read was The Girl Who was Supposed to Die by April Henry, ” stated Lane Harmon. “There was so much suspense!” Added Kei Arthur, “Our team learned that to do even better, multiple team members need to read the same book.”
In late March, the high school battle of the books competed in an online battle. This is the first time there has been a high school team. Kiara Bru, Coleta Larson, and Ashlynn Playle did not advance on but found it to be learning experience and an opportunity to read some genres they may not have otherwise have.
The teams wish to acknowledge all the support they received from the community, particularly those who the purchased the books needed to be read in order to prepare for battle. We especially would like to acknowledge Dianna Klinker of Stilwell Public Library of New Sharon, Mrs. Eleanor Robinson, and the Book Vault of Oskaloosa for their support.