‘Book Madness’ underway

Competition seeks to inspire reading

Sarah Kluckhohn

‘Book Madness’ poster hangs above final three books Mar 21. The Media Center is holding a ‘Book Madness’ tournament for the month of March.

Every year, the Media Center at Park officiates ‘Book Madness.’ This is a competition inspired by March Madness, a basketball tournament. This year, the new library director Alison Tsuchiya Theiler is in charge, and she said the game works similar to the actual tournament. 

“What we did in the Media Center is we took the top 16 most checked-out books and matched them up, and each week the school will vote on which book is better,” Tsuchiya Theiler said. “The book that wins in the 16th round will go to the 8th, that winner will go to the fourth and so on. By the end of March, we’ll have a winner.” 

Sophomore Allison Pizha-Barrera said she hasn’t checked out from the library before, but the roster for Book Madness interested her. 

“I like to read, so it’s cool (that the library) is doing the competition,” Pizha-Barrera said. “I haven’t read anything from the school library, but some of the books on the list look good.”

Tsuchiya Theiler said she doesn’t plan to change the competition much, but she does want students to know about the game. 

“I’m not doing anything totally differently, I’m just trying to advertise the competition more than previous years,” Tsuchiya Theiler said. “I printed out the QR code to vote with and hung up advertisements around the school.” 

Senior and media center assistant, Muna Ambashe, said she is unfamiliar with the bulk of books in the running, but that she hopes the books she likes fare well. 

“I’ve only heard of two books on the roster, so I hope either one of those wins,” Ambashe said. “I’ll be excited if one of the books I like wins.” 

According to Tsuchiya Theiler, Book Madness is designed to get students interested in reading and to advertise the library to students who can check out books. 

“The purpose of Book Madness is to show the school and inform the students that books are fun and that we are a school of literacy,” Tsuchiya Theiler said. “Also to advertise the library — to show students they can come in (the library) and check out books.” 

She said the competition is a way to introduce students to reading in a new and interesting way, something the regular curriculum does not always encourage. 

“It’s good to engage students with literacy in a way they aren’t used to,” Thsuchiya Theiler said.  “The way they experience reading at school is a little boring sometimes, (because) they just read what they’re told to read. I hope this brings some interest in and shows students how fun reading can be.”