BANDON - It was another great Battle of the Books Adventure at Ocean Crest Elementary School. The seventh annual event was held on March 22 in the Ocean Crest gym. There were 24 students who participated, making up eight teams.

The first place team was The Mermaids, comprising Shasta Johnson, Nova Hadden and Addy Curry.

According to organizer and Ocean Crest Librarian Kelly Baker, the school participates in America's Battle of the Books. That organization selects the books and provides the questions for each round. The "battles" are within Ocean Crest school and the competitors do not travel to participate with other schools.

In order for a student to participate, they needed to read and pass an AR (computerized test) on four of the selected books by the qualification date. A qualification date is set one month before the event. They are encouraged to read all of the books.

Qualified students choose their team mates and pick their team name. A team is usually three students, all boys, all girls, or mixed; all third grade, all fourth or mixed. Kindergarten, first and second graders are not eligible to participate but they do watch the final round in an all-school assembly.

This year, Ocean Crest was given a list of 15 books. Several students read all 15, Baker said.

On Battle Day, at least 12 volunteers from the community and the Bandon School District come in to assist with the competition.

"For example, Mr. Ardiana, our superintendent, has helped run the bracket board for the past four years," Baker said. "Other volunteers keep a stopwatch while others ask questions to the teams. During each battle, a series of 24 questions are asked such as, 'In which book would you find ...' All answers are to be given in the format of title and author. If a team knows the title but cannot remember the author, the other team has a chance to pick up those points."

During the morning, the teams (and family members who have come to support the students) go from room to room to view the battles. The winner takes the score sheet to Mr. Ardiana who makes up and fills in the bracket board as they win or lose each battle.

The final battle is played in the gym at 1:05 p.m. with almost the entire school coming to watch. Volunteers Jim Proehl (retired longtime Bandon High School teacher and Bandon History Museum board member) and longtime Bandon Public Library Children's Librarian Julie Tipton have helped every year and always do the first battle held in the library and the last in the gym. During the first battle in the library, Proehl goes over the rules as a reminder to students and so that parents, too, will know the rules.

This year's winners include:

First place, The Mermaids: Shasta Johnson, Nova Hadden and Addy Curry

Second place, Smarties: Niki DiBartolomeo, Sky Knight and Gracie Sullivan

Consolation champions, Pimple Dragons: Jack Taylor and Enzo Salandro

Other teams competing included:

The Kitcats, Sunny Thompson, Jordyn Llewellyn and Elisabeth Weaver

Electric Readers, Noah Brown, Noah Schwenninger, Beckett Pahls and Jackson Simonds

We're Going to Beat You, Jaiden Neimoyer, Scott John and Amy Richmond

Book Nerds, MaKenna Holle, Leon Adams and Quincy Converse

Pug-a-Corns, Evan Parker, Demetra Panagakis and Rylen LaPlante

Baker, who will be retiring at the end of this year, would like to thank the following people who helped with this year's Battle of the Books: Jim Proehl and Julie Tipton for committing to an entire day at school helping the competition go smoothly.

Doreen Colbert, Carina Staatz, Sue German, Katie Heap, Adrienne Smith and Lisa Jarvis for being question readers and timer/scorekeepers.

Doug Ardiana for making and filling in the bracket board. Mrs. Ells' Bandon High School art class for making team posters. "The students look forward to viewing what the high school kids have created each year," Baker said. 

"Uncle" Russ and Michelle Churchill for putting on the ice cream party every year for all who participate.

Freedom Graphics for donating the Grand Prize sweatshirts for the winning team.

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