Read, read, read.... that is what students in the Middle Ages at Spring Grove Public School spent the school year doing as they prepared to battle their classmates in knowledge of books.

The Battle Of Books (B.O.B.) centers around a specific list of books that Spring Grove Public School media generalist Bev Nelson selects each year. At the beginning of the school year, she gives book talks on the books that she has selected.

"I try to keep a balance of male/ female protagonists in books, as well as a variety of genres of books so that there are subjects and themes that interest many students," explained Nelson.

This year there were about 75 titles featured as part of B.O.B. Each year about one-fourth of the titles are rotated out, and new ones are put in so that it stays fresh for the students.

There were eight teams with 10 or 11 students per team. Each team has representatives from each grade in the Middle Ages (fourth, fifth and sixth).

Everyone is placed on a team with the team captains being sixth graders that are selected by classroom teachers.

"I read all of the books that are in the competition, so I also know the content," said Nelson. "We write our own questions, and I have volunteers who have helped with that also."

Rounds are about 17 minutes each with the questions formatted so that the answers come in the form of title and author. Any team member can buzz in to answer the question, but only the captain speaks for the team.

Once a team has buzzed in, they have 20 seconds to confer on an answer. They may use notes that they have kept. Each team gets to play at least twice.

"The kids seem to love this competition," remarked Nelson with a smile. "It seems to be an incentive for reading, and I am very pleased with the results."

Taking first place in this year's competition was the team, "The Waskly Reading Wabbits" with team members: Nathan Doely, Caden Grinde, Jakob Myrah, Piper Thompson, Hannah Gray, Payton Leahy, Collin VanMinsel, Dylan Johnson, Ethan Matzke and Camron Sylling (captain).

They each received an ice cream cone certificate donated by Doc's Blue Moose and a $10 Barnes and Noble certificate that was purchased with part of the profits from the book fair with the remaining profits going to an author visit.

The second-place team was "Ballers of Books". Their members included: Garrett Bergrud, Erika Donlan, Tristan Hammel, Michael Blackburn, Alex Ellingson, Alex Deters, Liz Garcia-Holty, Kyle Hagen, Kai Bjerke, Takoda Boyd (captain) and Gabe Prahl.

They also each received an ice cream cone certificate courtesy of Doc's Blue Moose and a kid's pack certificate donated by the Spring Grove Cinema.

Placing third was the "Rapid Readers" team. Members of this team were: Haley Ardinger, Hannah Boudreaux, Katheryn Deters, Jacine Johanningmeier, Emily Myrah, Amelia Solum, Lyndsey Hahn, Corbin Moser, Kailee Olerud and Rhiannon Skauge (captain).

They each received an ice cream cone certificate from by Doc's Blue Moose.

Each team also voted on the Most Valuable Player of their team.

"These are the students that logged a lot of hours reading," remarked Nelson. The students voted as the MVPs were: Camron Sylling, Mariah Myrah, Kaitlyn Vickerman, Isaac Griffin, Kai Bjerke, Emily Guberud, Rhiannon Skauge and Mariah Edgington.