MONTREAL, APRIL13, 2016 – Students from LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount tested their literary knowledge and power of quick recall, as they competed in the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) first-ever “Battle of the Books,” which took place on April 11 in the Laurence Patterson Room of the EMSB Administration Building.
By the time the fast-paced hour-long competition was over, LaurenHill won a close victory over Vincent Massey Collegiate, by a score of 67-61. The LaurenHill Academy team, which was made up of students Anna Marie Magera, Olivia Polyi-Elliot, Tahiya Rahman, Alannah Grant, Amira McRae-Nelson and Amerit Percolides, will go on to represent the EMSB in the “Ultimate Battle” on Wednesday, April 20 in the Saputo Auditorium of Lower Canada College, and will compete for the city-wide title against the winning teams from the Lester B Pearson School Board (LBPSB) and the Quebec Association of Independent Day Schools. The Vincent Massey Collegiate team comprised of Abiramy Manimaran, Sam Rowan, Julia Bifulco, Caroline Meale, Elyssia Ieropoli and Alessandra Laurieri.
Organized by the EMSB’s Education and Technology Services (ETS), “Battle of the Books” tested the teams’ detailed knowledge of 10 preselected young adult books that represented eight different genres that the students read prior to the competition. Those 10 books that were on the required reading list were Steve Jobs: Insanely Great by Jesse Hartland; Legend by Mary Lu; Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon; Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller; The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani; Across the Universe by Beth Revis; Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews; Nix Minus One by Jill Maclean; Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass; and Schooled by Gordon Korman.
“Battle of the Books” is a fun and engaging way for students and their families to get excited about reading, while also building confidence and teamwork skills. Held at the LBPSB since 2013, the Battle has steadily grown each year to include an increasing number of schools from across the city. This is the first year that the EMSB held its own elimination game at the Board level to determine a finalist for the Ultimate Battle.
The EMSB “Battle of the Books” also included appearances by a number of special guests such as Jason Grimmer, manager of Drawn & Quarterly; young adult author Eisha Marjara; Marc Tessier of Les Éditions TRIP; and Matthew Shapiro, EMSB teacher and guitarist in the popular band Young Galaxy. As well, each of the special guests got the chance to be a quizmaster, as they read out some of the questions to the two students teams throughout the course of the competition.
ETS would like to thank CBC Canada Reads, Drawn & Quarterly, Livres Babar and Librairie Paragraphe for supporting this event.