Marian Harrison, media specialist at both schools, conducted a preliminary round at both schools in which the fourth and fifth grade classes competed against each other. Winning teams from each school challenged each other Friday with fourth graders going to East Side and the fifth graders were at Meridian.
Each battle consisted of a 15-minute round followed by a 10-minute round. Harrison asked 120 questions, six per book, based on the young Hoosier Book Award selections in grades 4-6. Time and score keepers were Michael Latta, elementary counselor, and Sheryl Jordan, East Side Title 1 coordinator.
Some of the questions were: In what book does a boy learn his father is not a coward after all? What book takes place in Fort Wayne, Ind.? In what book does a boy and girl think their house is haunted? In what book does a lady earn her money from doing other people's laundry? In what book do people cross the Rocky Mountains?
Answers included both fiction and noon-fiction book titles such as "Missing in the Mountains," "The Battlefield Ghost," "Boxes," "Because of Winn Dixie," "Through My Eyes," "See the Stars," "The Riches of Oseola McCarty" and more.
Trophies for the most correct answers went to Meridian fourth graders and East Side fifth graders.
"I want you to know that you kids have worked very hard on this. You're all winners," Harrison told them.
Fourth grade contestants were: Charlene Herr-Smith, Brandy Vanatti, Ian Berner, Alexis Gibbens and alternate Katelynn Johnson from East Side; Josiah Alstott, Desiree Edwards, Molly Williams, Nikki Jones and alternate Alexis Holbert from Meridian.
Fifth grade contestants were: Stephanie McMains, Megan Aker, Caleb Mason, Asia Holloway and alternate Heather Hughes from East Side; Leah Garvin, Ashleigh Lehr, Hannah Keen, Eli Merkel and alternate Shakara Riggle from Meridian.
Students are encouraged to read books nominated in their category, discuss them and vote for their favorite in the spring. This is one of the few book awards decided by children instead of adults. In order to vote, K-3 must read or hear 12 of the 20 and grades 4-6 must read at least five. Votes from students throughout the state are tallied and the winners announced in May.
The state-wide program is sponsored by Association of Indiana Media Educators. Each year, the AIME appoints committee members to select 20 books in each category of grades K-3, 4-6, 6-8 and 9-12.