The Bouncy Bookworms have won the Stanley Cup of reading comprehension.
The six Grade five students from Albion Elementary are the champions of the Reading Link Challenge, a reading and trivia contest run through the library system.
They bounced the competition at every step along the way, starting with a win at the Maple Ridge Public Library, where they beat teams from 13 local schools.
Next, they entered the Fraser Valley Regional Library Community challenge in April, when they competed against winning schools from across the library system. They placed in the top two, which won them the right to compete as one of the 10 finalist teams from five school districts – two each from Coquitlam, Delta, North Vancouver, Surrey and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
There, they came out on top, winning the grand championship of the Reading Link Challenge last week in Surrey.
They were tops out of 538 teams from 127 schools in the participating communities.
The teacher that led the team is Jim Graham and the students on the team are: Jack Hayhoe, Harley McFarlane, Canyon Gudaitis, Diego Llarena, Emilie Bruce and Cathy Kingsman.
Graham explained that the questions were tough – minutia about the plots, and trifling details about characters and settings. The Bouncy Bookworms became experts, reading and re-reading the books as many as eight times.
The titles chosen are not classics or even well known, and nor are the authors – The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, and the Great Wall of Lucy Wu, by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, were among the selections.
“Their determination and their effort was amazing,” said the Bouncey Bookworm’s teacher and coach.
One member of each team picked a book and became the team authority on it. Despite the esoteric and niggling nature of the questions, they nailed 28 out of 30 in the championship.
Albion elementary has always done well in the competition, Graham said. Albion has been the district champion in nine of the last 11 years, and once lost the final in a tie-breaker. But they had never hoisted the big trophy until now.
The challenge is designed to foster a love of reading, and promote reading comprehension.
“We are very proud of the Bouncy Bookworms for taking home the Reading Link Challenge Trophy,” said Maple Ridge library manager Shawna Kristin.
• For more information on the Reading Link Challenge program, see readinglinkchallenge.ca.