EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) - Third graders from Edison Elementary in Eugene are competing in the regional Oregon Battle of the Books.
52 teams of young readers from the third, fourth and fifth grades will be competing for a trip to state.
That includes a smart group of third graders from Edison Elementary in Eugene.You can say one thing for this group of third graders . . . they're honest critics.
“Like 'Rowan of Rinn', the first couple chapters are kind of boring, but then it gets really good,” eight-year-old Sofia said.
“The ending is kind of disappointing because no one really wins,” third grader Oria said.
“It's really hard to put down at the end,” Edison third grader Aidan said.
But they also know the subject matter. The 'Whatchamacallits' as they're dubbed will represent Edison School in regional competition of the Oregon Battle of the Books. They'll face fourth and fifth graders in a test of reading comprehension from a list of sixteen books.
“If we win the next battle, we'll keep on battling other teams. But if we lose, we're out until spring, I think,” nine-year-old Shota said.
The program is extracurricular. Each student on a typical team is asked to read at least four of the books. These eight- and nine-year-olds have read just about every one.
“No, I thought I'd never get through all of them. And it was really hard,” nine-year-old Aidan said.
“And everybody's good at remembering stuff, which you kind of have to do for this competition,” eight-year-old Sofia said.
The Whatchamacallits take the competition seriously, huddling up to diagnose an answer for every book-related question.
“Don't sell them short. They're very capable. And when motivated to do great things, they can,” volunteer Lisa Von der Heydt said.
They'll have the chance to prove it and earn their school plenty of respect on Saturday.
“It's worked out pretty good so far,” Sofia said.
The Edison students will compete at North Eugene High School on Saturday beginning at 9 AM. The teams are awarded points throughout the day. The three teams with the most points advance to the state competition in Salem next month.