March Book Madness encourages reading

BSM%27s+March+Book+Madness+is+designed+to+pit+books+against+each+other+to+see+which+ones+are+the+students%27+favorites.+This+Google+Form+is+used+for+voting.

Screenshot, Final Four Ballot

BSM's March Book Madness is designed to pit books against each other to see which ones are the students' favorites. This Google Form is used for voting.

This March, for the first time ever, BSM has a March Madness Tournament––for books. The ”March Book Madness” is based on the annual NCAA College Basketball Tournament. March Book Madness is a sixteen-book bracket based on novels students have read throughout their four years of English at BSM and the top checked-out library books. There is a sixteen book high school bracket and a sixteen book junior high bracket.

The point of the tournament is to see which novels are most popular among students. “About 100 high school students have voted and about 100 in the junior high so far,” BSM librarian, Ms. Laura Sylvester, said.

The novels from the BSM high school curriculum include: To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Oedipus Cycle, Long Way Down, Animal Farm, and The Hate You Give. The most checked outside of the bracket has books such as Divergent, Scythe, and Tetris.

The tournament started in March, but it is not too late for any students to cast their vote on the later rounds because it does not end until after Spring Break.

Even with the chaos of the COVID-19, no school, Extended Online School, and Spring Break, students will still be able to cast their votes online to determine the final four and winner of the bracket. The final four for the senior high includes Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. The junior high’s final four novels are The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Refugee by Alan Gratz, and Guts by Raina Telgemeier.

The idea is the tournament will promote reading, talking about books, and hopefully encourage students to try books that they would not normally read.”

— Laura Sylvester

“The voting is on the BSM Library PowerSchool Learning page,” Sylvester, who brought the idea to BSM, said.

March Book Madness is likely going to become a yearly BSM event with a variety of books joining the brackets each year. It is a great way to expose students to more novels that are already popular among other kids their age. These books will always be available to check out in the BSM Library.

With coronavirus making teens stuck at home, looking at the bracket and deciding to read one of these books is a great idea. “The idea is the tournament will promote reading, talking about books, and hopefully encourage students to try books that they would not normally read,” Sylvester said.