Around this time each year, I am invited to be a judge in the Pittston Consolidated School’s Battle of the Books. Fifth-grade students are asked to read five books and prepare to answer trivia questions about each book.

Their teacher, Patricia Adams, creates a “sports event” around the competition. Over two days, brackets are set, teams move up and, at the end, we have a winner. The whole school joins in, as students from all the grades come and cheer on the competitors.

This year, the Nerd Herds team came out the winners, though not without huge competition from opposing teams. Questions flew from judges and students answered with lightning speed. I could not believe how hard some questions were, and they were dispatched with correct answers in less than 30 seconds.

We live in a time when sports players, for better or worse, are anointed our celebrity heroes. The Battle of the Books makes a sports event out of literacy, and Pittston School supports our future leaders by applauding reading. I couldn’t be prouder of these bright students, and I look forward to next year’s competition.

Anne Davis, director

Gardiner Public Library

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