Battle of the Bored?

High School Battle of the Books, in my opinion, is really not worth the effort. For one, the books are chosen for a general audience of High School students. The Alaska Association of School Librarians selects the books. Anyone can nominate a book through their website. These nominations then go to the AASL board. The board reads all of the books to make sure that they fit the criteria. Then, in March, librarians make the final selection and the lists are compiled. Although this process can expose you to new kinds of literature, more often then not, the level of reading doesn’t fit the level each reader needs. This problem only escalated through the year. If the books were too easy then people would not pay much attention to details, assuming that because the book was simple it would not require much thought. As for some of the more dense books, like 1984 by George Orwell and All Things Bright and Beautifu l by James Herriot, It was difficult enough to try to piece the plot together. The minor details ended up getting left behind. Unfortunately, Battle of the Books is all about remembering those forgotten little details. I think that because of the book selection, asking students to read twelve books for detail is a little absurd. “It was really boring, having to read for a grade,” said Kerrick Eagle a Dimond Freshman. “The books were either too easy or too hard.” he said. Another issue with this year’s battle was how long the season was dragged out for. We had six months to read these books. Many people found this to be both a blessing and a curse. We had a longer time to read the books, so in an ideal situation, we could read more of them. In reality, this extension (In previous years, Battle took place before winter break, around finals) led to much procrastination. Students figured that they would have lots of time “later” to read. Most found that “later” came sooner then expected. The long time also allowed a long time for people to forget what they had read way back in August. The very first book that I read was 1984 by George Orwell. I thought that I would be crafty and read it first, getting it out of the way. When the Battle came around however, it was the book I remembered the least from. It is my hope that future Battlers have both a more appropriate book list as well as a better length of season.