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Tournament of Books

12 Books.  4 Teams. 1 Champion.

On March 26, teams met to face off in HCPL's Tournament of Books Championship Game. The teams competed for prizes and the glory of being the Tournament of Books Champions 2022. Tournament of Books is HCPL's signature literacy program for teens in grades 9 - 12. We like to define the program as a book club with a competitive spirit that encourages a love of reading. Teens work together in teams of 4 or 5 to read the 12 books reading list. The books for Tournament of Books are selected by HCPL literacy staff and features the latest books in Young Adult literature with diverse character and themes, relevant and relatable subject matter, originality, and strong and memorable plotlines. Read the entire list on the Libby app.

Check out a book from the Tournament of Books 2022 reading list.
can't take that away tob book this is my america indivisible xoxo dire days
darkness outside us wings of ebony home is not a country redbone awakening of malcolm x from a whisper

The teams have been training for the Championship since December 2021, as they attended monthly book parties that included fun book games, reviews, and discussions. To get the students even more excited for the books and the Championship Game, we also had special virtual author events with Axie Oh and J. Elle. 

On March 23, Axie Oh joined HCPL for a live chat. Oh discussed her book XOXO, her new book The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea reading with a purpose, her favorite K-Pop bands (BTS, Red Velvet, IU), mood reading and mood writing, Romcoms, and more! Oh shared how much The Little Prince means to her, how Want inspired her to write Rebel Seoul, how Reflections: On the Magic of Writing helps with her writing, and how much she can’t stop praising The Wild Ones. Oh also shared that her cousin is Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox. Watch the complete interview with Axie Oh below.

On March 24, we welcomed Houston native J. Elle. Elle talked about her books Wings of Ebony and the sequel Ashes of Gold, her writing journey, Houston’s disrespectful weather (“if you know, you know”), Shipley’s Do-Nuts, and seeing yourself reflected in stories. Elle shared that The Giver and Number the Stars have both stayed with her and that her current reads include Throne of Glass series, Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell, All My Rage, and rereading Game of Thrones. Watch the complete interview with J. Elle below.

The Championship Game followed the author events on March 26 and was held in a hybrid format – the teams met at their home libraries of Galena Park Branch Library and Kingwood Branch Library and joined in virtually via Microsoft Teams. The top teams put their book knowledge to the test as they answered book trivia and open-ended questions. First Place went to Kingwood’s The Dead Readers Society, Second Place to Galena Park’s Green Frogs, Third Place to Galena Park’s Verso, and Honorable Mention to Galena Park’s Space Jems. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Harris County Public Library, the First Place team won Kindle Fires, Second and Third place won Amazon Kindle gift cards, and all students went home with a certificate and gift book of their choice.

The Dead Reader's Society
The Dead Readers Society
Verso and Green Frogs
Verso and Green Frogs

Besides winning awesome prizes, during the game the teens were surprised with a visit from J. Elle! Elle shared words of encouragement and congratulated them for their achievements in reading. Participants were heard asking their HCPL librarians, "Is that the REAL J. Elle?" and "Is she really here?". Suffice to say, her visit was a highlight for all. 

J. Elle surprises students during the Championship Game!
Galena Park Branch Library
Kingwood Branch Library

Thank you to the students, their teachers, and school librarians, the HCPL Team Coordinators and judges, author Axie Oh and J. Elle, and the Friends of the Harris County Public Library for a successful Tournament of Books 2022. We look forward to next year! 

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