School Library

Royal West Academy triumphs at EMSB ‘Battle of the Books’

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Montreal - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

For the past four years, student teams from EMSB high schools have faced off at the “Battle of the Books” competition. Organized by the librarians of the EMSB’s Educational and Technology Services (ETS), Battle of the Books tests the teams’ detailed literary knowledge of 12 pre-selected young adult books that the students have read prior to the competition. Teams are quizzed under the pressure of time constraints during either single question rounds or a two-minute lightning round.

On the evening of March 26, six EMSB teams from the following schools faced off in a head-to-head test of their knowledge: LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent, Laurier Macdonald High School in Saint-Léonard, Rosemount High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, Westmount High School and Royal West Academy in Montreal West. Competitors and spectators alike, including Chairman of the EMSB Angela Mancini, Vice-Chairman Joe Ortona, Deputy Director General, Education Evelyne Alfonsi, Regional Director West Sector Pela Nickoletopoulos, Director of ETS Alessandra Furfaro and Assistant Director of ETS Athina Galanogeorgos, spent two hours on the edge of their seats as the teams battled it out.

While all teams did an outstanding job, congratulations go to Royal West Academy for winning this year’s Battle of the Books, edging out the competition with a whopping 101 points. The team, which includes Anurag Bhowmick, Clara Chemtov, Reilly Miners-Yamamoto, Alessio Piscitelli and Amy Steiner, and is coached by Anna Supino, will move on to represent the EMSB at the “Ultimate Battle” on Tuesday, April 16, where they will compete against finalists from the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) and the Quebec Association of Independent Schools (QAIS).

The EMSB Battle included appearances by special guests Anne Beamish, EMSB Secondary English Language Arts consultant, Megan Byers, Manager at Livres Babar Books, Talya Pardo, Head of the Norman Berman Children’s Library at the Jewish Public Library and founder of the Montreal YA Fest, and Mike Payette, Artistic Director at Geordie Productions. ETS would like to thank CBC Canada Reads, Drawn & Quarterly, Geordie Theatre, Livres Babar, Librairie Clio and Librairie Paragraphe for supporting this event.

The Battle of the Books started at the LBPSB in 2013, and has steadily grown each year to include an increasing number of schools from across the city. EMSB Librarian Alissa Rosellini notes that Battle of the Books allows students to explore a variety of literary genres while simultaneously developing teamwork skills.

The Ultimate Battle will take place at the LBPSB Administrative Building (1925 Brookdale Avenue in Dorval) on April 16 at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the competition and is open to the public. Come cheer your school on!

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