Epic was the word students of S.C. Lee Junior High school used to describe their experience at the regional Battle of the Lone Star Books contest in Waco on Feb. 28.
And epic it was for Marvel-Us Super Readers Carson McVeigh, Kevin Gillespie, Desiree Garza, Logan Stock and Rose Pierce, who placed fourth out of 41 competing teams.
The battle tested the kids’ knowledge and comprehension of 20 books they had to memorize in one month, including titles, authors, character and plots, Sandra Carswell said, S.C. Lee’s librarian.
“This is the third year of the competition and last year we placed fifth,” she said, “so this is a big accomplishment for them.”
There were two rounds, each with 25 questions that all contestants from the region 12 area had to answer, said 14-year-old Carson McVeigh.
“I was nervous because this was my first year,” he said. “But we did great by coming in fourth place.”
Luckily for 13-year-old Logan Stock, he had already read 15 of the books on the list by the time he’d joined the team.
“I’ve loved reading since kindergarten,” Stock said. “And we’re ready for next year, Rose and I. We’re already looking for a friend to recruit.”
If there’s food involved, 12-year-old Rose Pierce said she’s all in.
“We had chocolate and ice cream and it was so good,” Pierce said. “We visited Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. I was nervous but the ice cream made everything just right.”
The one question that stumped the other teams is the one S.C. Lee got right, Desiree Garza said.
They were asked which two books had characters that were in orphanages and the answer was “False Prince” and “Ripper,” which they knew, she said.
“I was so irritated because the winning team got everything else right,” she said. “Still, I would tell kids they should try it because it’s fun and you get to meet people and read different books.”
It felt great representing the school, said 13-year-old Kevin Gillespie.
“Reading is fun if you pick the right book. If it doesn’t read like a movie in your head then you need to get a new book; although sometimes movies and books differ.”
A subject that kicked off a heated debate among the teens who said more times than not the movie and the book are different.
They all agreed that the movie “Percy Jackson” ranked at the top because it was nothing like the book.
The next event for the team is the Texas Library Association event in April, where authors such as James Patterson will be present and the kids will receive advanced copies of upcoming books.
“I’m bringing three bags because I want to read them all,” Pierce said, and her teammates agreed.