My 10-year-old son and I love books. We can spend hours reading a new book – or re-reading one of our favorites again and again. We both get so engrossed in our book that we can’t even hear when people say our name or talk to us.
When I first heard about the Battle of the Books, I was jealous. Where was this kind of thing when I was a kid? I would’ve ruled at this sport.
For those that don’t know, the Battle of the Books is a reading event that grew out of a Chicago radio show in the 1940s and is now in school districts and libraries all over the country. Once a year, kids in grades three through five, six through eight and students in high school read selected books for their age range. Kids form teams and meet to battle in a game-show format, answering trivia questions about books on the Battle of the Books list.
The trivia questions are mind-bendingly detailed. As in, “In which book, did a character sneeze during the talent show?” And they have to be able to name the book and author. Yikes. I can’t even remember what I read this morning in the newspaper, let alone that level of detail.
Getting my son to read has never been a problem. But getting him to read new things — new genres, nonfiction, books that feature girl lead characters? That’s a problem. Left to his own devices, he would read adventure, spy stories, manga and anything by Rick Riordan.