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Six Grade 5 White Rock Elementary students, who call themselves the Losers Club, have won this year's Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) Reading Link Challenge, an annual competition for Grade 4 & 5 students to test their knowledge and retention of select books against teams from across the Fraser Valley.
The Losers Club, named after an Andrew Clements book of the same name, beat 3,784 students from 259 other teams across 11 different library systems to take home the trophy. The team was made up of students Lucy, Ria, Angelica, Sylvya, Sophia and Kamryn.
Every year, a committee selects six books for participating students to read and study, starting in late September. Students are then quizzed in spring, competing against peers and other students both in and out of their district. Each challenge presents three sets of 10 questions, of easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels, about the content of each book.
"Whoever is the best team from their school moves on to compete against other teams that the public library looks after, and the best one from there represents their community at the Fraser Valley challenge," explained White Rock Library's Jean Smith. "The top two teams go on to compete with all the other teams from the 10 other library systems.
"And out of all that, The Losers Club came out on top."
This year's books included The Case of Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson, Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein, Life According to Og the Frog, by Betty G. Birney, Sled Dog School by Terry Lynn Johnson, Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage and Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones.
White Rock Elementary teacher-librarian Lorraine Nygaard said the students treated reading as a sport, challenging themselves to learn the books from cover to cover as they moved through each round.
"Once they left the school level for the regional level, they were very focused and passionate about winning," she said. "They really trained – they would come into the library at lunchtime and take notes. I believe one of the girls read each of the books nine times."
Nygaard said the Losers Club tied with the other remaining team after 30 questions in the final round, resulting in an overtime set of 10 questions. Despite some remarkably obscure questions, White Rock Elementary eked out the victory, becoming the first team to win under the White Rock Library umbrella.
"We're very excited and very proud of them," said Smith. "It's great to have this connection to the school and see their love of reading."
Congratulations to the Losers Club on your hard-earned Reading Link Challenge victory!