Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Northeast High edges perennial winner in Pinellas Battle of the Books; Lakeview Fundamental, Tarpon Springs Middle also win

Hail to the Vikings of Northeast High.

With freshman Mary Freeman in the captain's chair, the school edged five other remaining teams to become the 2009 Battle of the Books High School champs. The competition was held inside the Pinellas County School Board's auditorium Friday in downtown Largo.

After the teenagers' showdown, the elementary and middle school districts were held with the Book­aneers of Lakeview Fundamental Elementary and the Excaliburs of Tarpon Springs Middle taking the trophies.

Started 11 years ago (except the high school division, which started in 2006), the Battle of the Books district round has students sitting in clusters of three with hands poised on a buzzer. They answer questions in quiz game format, pouncing on the buzzer as quickly as they can.

What makes Northeast's victory all the sweeter is the fact that the Vikings knocked out the previously undefeated Countryside Cougars from a three-year reign.

"Up until now, Countryside High School is the only name that's been on that trophy,'' said Bonnie Kelley, supervisor of Library Media/Technology for Pinellas County Schools and coordinator of the event.

The Vikings did not expect to win.

"This is a great surprise,'' said Freeman, as she clutched the championship trophy with teammates Shakira Jinks-Smith and Julie Solomon by her side. Freeman offered advice to future warriors in such a battle. "Read the books and then read them again and again.''

The Battle of the Books for the lower grades consists of three rounds of questions about 15 books taken from the Sunshine State Young Readers list. The high school competition is styled the same way with the books coming from the Florida Teens Read list.

Information on both programs can be found on the Web site for the Florida Association of Media in Education,

After suffering defeat in the districts last year, the team from Lakeview Fundamental was determined to win, according to Diane Kort, the school's library information specialist.

"Our strategy was to listen for key words,'' Kort said. ''If they'd hear a word unique to a certain book, they'd hit the buzzer as fast as they could.''

After their victory in the middle school division, the Tarpon Springs team agreed to be quizzed on one more question.

What book should be on every middle-schooler's summer reading list?

"The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rich Yancey is just too good,'' said team members in unison as they carted their trophy away from the stage area.

Battle of the Books

The following students won the top prize in the 2009 District Battle of the Books for Pinellas:

Lakeview Fundamental Elementary: Rachael Marley (captain), Madison Lee, Cierra Franzese and Chloe Beaver (alternate).

Tarpon Springs Middle School: Zaydi Javeed (captain), Zayna Javeed, Malvika Menon and Emma Drozen (alternate).

Northeast High School: Mary Freeman (captain), Shakira Jinks-Smith and Julie Solomon (there was no alternate).

The following 18 schools participated in the 2009 District Battle of the Books for Pinellas County (by order of finish):

Elementary schools: Lake­view Fundamental, Belcher, Frontier, Safety Harbor, Ozona and Curlew Creek.

Middle schools: Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Kennedy, Osceola, Bay Point and Safety Harbor.

High schools: Northeast, Palm Harbor University, Tarpon Springs, Countryside, Seminole and Lakewood.

Northeast High edges perennial winner in Pinellas Battle of the Books; Lakeview Fundamental, Tarpon Springs Middle also win 05/19/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School


    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)


    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.