Fifth and sixth graders tackle book challenge

Fifth and sixth graders tackle book challenge

Bridget Kelly '30 (left) and 
Shivani Anand '30

Thayer Academy Middle School held its second annual Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (MCBA) Book Challenge for its fifth and sixth graders with students earning kudos both individually and for their advisory. 

Sponsored statewide by Salem State University, the larger MCBA is an annual book award focusing on books for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade readers. A selection committee chooses 25 titles for a master list of nominees; Massachusetts students who read five of those books have the opportunity to vote for their favorite from that list; the top vote-getter earns the award. 

Closer to home, Middle School Librarian Blodine Francois uses that MCBA nominee list for an in-house book challenge of her own. In the Middle School, fifth and sixth graders read as many books as possible from that master list. Prizes this year included Thayer swag (shirts, sweatshirts, and water bottles), books, bookmarks, cool school supplies, and candy.

In the sixth grade, Shivani Anand ‘30 took home first prize by reading all 25 books. Bridget Kelly ‘30 earned second place with 16 books read. Ms. Noone’s advisory also earned the top spot with a collective total of 46 books read. 

In the fifth grade, Lily Bonina ‘31 read eight books to earn first-place honors while Ms. Currie’s advisory were the victors with a total of 15 books read. 

Ms. Noone's sixth grade advisory

Honorable mention went to the following students (number of books read in parentheses): Liv Torok ‘30 (9); Caroline McKinney ‘30 (9); Nora Devine ‘30 (10); Shannon Kyller ‘30 (12); and Amy Ma ‘30 (13). 

All final counts were verified by a parent/guardian volunteer. 

“It’s been a really exciting couple of months,” Francois said during an April 24 assembly in Thompson Hall announcing the award winners. 

Anand said the use of Sora, an award-winning digital reading app for K-12 students, helped her to tackle all of the books on the list in a timely manner. That said, her real secret to success was fairly simple. 

“I love reading,” Anand said. 

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