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2015 Hub Reading Challenge Check-In #4

8 Mar

I read three books for the HUB Challenge this week. The first was  Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud.

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This one reminded me a lot of How to Catch a Bogle,  for a slightly older audience.

Goodreads Summary:For more than fifty years, Great Britain has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Lucy narrates the story and I really like her. In fact, I like her so much I will probably get the next book in the series to see what happened. This is the kind of ghost story I can take: not gory or frightening. It is more about the characters than the haunting.

Then, I read two graphic novels. I really liked  47 Ronin  by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai which retells the ancient Japanese story. I was so into this that I’ve put two different DVDs on hold at the library that offer movie versions.

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I also read Trillium by Jeff LeMire, which I liked less. I just couldn’t get into the story, though you might.It’s a love story about two souls separated by time & space but who manage to find each other.

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Battle of the Books Regional meet #SOL15

8 Mar

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Yesterday, I took my school’s winning OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) team to the regional meet.

I had a feeling right from October, when OBOB started, that this would be the team that I’d be taking to represent William Walker Elementary School. They’ve known each other forever and work well together. They also came in second at our school last year and ended that season saying that next year would be their year. They were right.Once they became school champs their rallying cry became “Bookmarks 2015”!!!

The regional meet began with  preliminary pool play. There were 49 elementary teams, three teams to a room. In the room we play two matches. We lost the first match to West TV, only missing one question. The girls were a little down. They watched West TV play Metzger in the second match and their confidence buoyed. It was Metzger’s first year and they were decimated by West TV. On the third match in our pool Metzger rotated in their alternate and did better, but we still won rather handily. Final totals were West TV 100, William Walker 85, Metzger 55.

Going to the next round, the Sweet 16 is all about point totals. Only the top 16 teams go into the next round. From my experience at regionals over the years, I knew that West TV would be in for sure. I figured we had a 50/50 chance. We went to the cafeteria to wait for the results. It took almost an hour for all the results to be tabulated. Finally, the spokesman came out an announced the top 13 teams. West TV was #1 at the end of the first round. Then he said words none of us had ever heard before. “There is a 5-way tie for the last 3 spots.” He called those names in alphabetical order and William Walker was the last name he called. We cheered madly, then had to go in for the 5-way tie breaker.

The girls’ excitement was back. After drawing lots for positions, the spokesman began the tie breaking process. Coaches have to sit at the front of the room beside the moderator who reads the questions. This is excruciatingly painful.  You watch your team (with whom you cannot communicate) and their parents, who are in as much agony as you are. At the end of the first tie breaking round, it was all tied up. By the end of the second round, two teams were eliminated and we were definitely going to the Sweet 16. Then there was one more round to determine our seed position. We came out on top so got the 14th seed spot. On to the next Battle.

By this time, the parents looked as drained as the girls were excited. By the end of the “In which Book” round, the score was tied. Unfortunately, the girls missed a question in the content round and lost, but we were all really proud of how well they did.

Bookmarks 2016!!!

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