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North Vancouver schools battle it out in new reading competition

Battle of the Books had students from Dorothy Lynas, Cleveland, Highlands, Sherwood Park and Carisbrooke Elementaries fight for the top spot

Celebrations are in order for a particularly studious set of Dorothy Lynas Elementary students, who were crowned Friday as the inaugural winners of the North Vancouver School District’s Battle of the Books competition.

On Friday afternoon, Cleveland Elementary hosted the first edition of Battle of the Books, a competition which has students read and dissect books in a book-club style before answering questions on them in a head to head with other schools.

Dorothy Lynas Elementary and Cleveland Elementary battled it out against Highlands, Sherwood Park and Carisbrooke Elementaries, with teams of three answering rounds of questions in easy, moderate, and hard categories.

“The energy on Friday was really awesome,” said Cleveland Elementary’s teacher-librarian Myriam Dumont, who had initiated the event, on Sunday. 

“We had some parent volunteers who helped set up and keep score and all the students were really excited and involved. In the end, it was Dorothy Lynas who won first place, and that was really awesome because they had worked really hard,” she said.

The students, around a dozen from each school, had read 12 finalists from the Red Cedar Book Awards over the course of the previous year. The selection had been chosen, said Dumont, because of their range in diversity and spotlight on Canadian authors.

One particular highlight included a graphic novel called Borders, she said, an adaptation of one of the most celebrated short stories to come from Indigenous author Thomas King. Other books spanned grief and loss.

“They were all super interesting and educational,” she said.

“I think this kind of event is really beneficial for kids, especially those who aren’t into things like sports. We have a lot of those opportunities for kids in our schools, but we don’t have many other things away from that,” she said, adding how this event will be “the first of many.”

The winning students, who celebrated afterwards with pizza and cake, took home a specially-made trophy and gift certificates donated by Vancouver Kidsbooks.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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