Central Lyon pupils reading for Book Bash | News

ROCK RAPIDS—Thirty-two of Melia Towne’s students are keeping their noses to the grindstone to prepare for a literary competition this spring.

Or rather, they’re keeping their noses inside the pages of books.

The seventh- and eighth-grade Central Lyon Middle School pupils are taking part in the Book Bash contest set for April 6 at Siouxland Christian School in Sioux City.

The students are divided into six teams — three for each grade level — and tasked with reading the 10 books selected for the competition. They then will be quizzed on their knowledge of the stories during the Book Bash while facing off against teams from other schools.

The list of books for this year’s Book Bash includes titles from several genres. They are as follows:

  • Historical fiction: “Ground Zero” by Alan Gratz; “All He Knew” by Helen Frost; and “A Night Divided” by Jennifer Nielson.
  • Realistic fiction: “Nowhere Boy” by Katherine Marsh; and “Miscalculations of Lightning Girl” by Stacy McNulty.
  • Mystery: “Confessions of a Murder Suspect” by James Patterson.
  • Sports: “Team Players” by Mike Lupica.
  • Fantasy: “Amari and the Night Brothers” by B.B. Ralston.
  • Adventure: “Alone” by Megan Freeman.
  • Graphic novel: “When Stars are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed.

Each team of readers has up to six students on it. Individual students are not required to read all 10 books; instead, teams should make sure their members have adequate knowledge of all 10 books between them.

Towne said several students nonetheless are pushing themselves to complete each novel.

“I love the Book Bash because it’s a great challenge for my students who are already avid readers. It introduces them to genres they may not have much experience with and makes reading and talking about books fun,” said Towne, who is in her second year of teaching literature for grades 7-8 at Central Lyon.

She introduced the book-based extracurricular to the district last academic year. She previously led the activity at the George-Little Rock School District, where she taught before coming to Central Lyon.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, an in-person Book Bash against other schools did not take place. Instead, Towne organized a small-scale one at the school to give her students a taste of what the competition is like.

“With the help of the school librarian, I picked 10 books and we wrote our own questions and the students competed at school against each other,” she said. “We are excited to be able to attend the competition this year and compete against other schools.”

Eighth-graders Avery Littlefield and Claire Reiter enjoyed the makeshift Bash that Towne put on last year and decided to participate again this year.

“I started doing the Book Bash last year because I’m a fast reader, so I was like, ‘Even if I don’t like it, I’ll just do it and then if I like it, I’ll do it next year,’” Reiter said. “Then I did end up liking it.”

Seventh-grader Cael Schipper is new to the Book Bash this year. He hopes to read his way through the whole list as a personal goal.

“Reading all these would introduce me to more genres I haven’t really read because I usually stick to the sci-fi and fantasy genres. This book is a mystery,” Schipper said while holding up his copy of the Patterson novel. “I never thought I would like it, but it was actually a pretty good book.

The students began their reading marathon once classes resumed after Christmas break. Their short-term goal for the next several weeks is to get as much reading done as possible ahead of the competition.

“As the competition date gets closer, we will meet to discuss and quiz each other over the books. But for right now, we are focusing on getting them read,” Towne said. “So far this year, the students are really enjoying the books and I have heard many of them discussing them.”






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *