Deconstructing Books During Adi’s Reading Challenge Voting Parties

Lively, thoughtful discussions amongst avid readers took place in the Library this past week as the boys who read a number of the books for this year’s Adi’s Reading Challenge, named to honor the life of Aditya Srinivasan '19, joined in voting parties to select their choice for the ALA’s Newbery Medal. Adi’s Challenge included some of the best children’s books published in 2017.
Running from October 2 to February 2, the competition, divided into two parts by grade level, was open to any interested fourth through seventh grader, faculty, and staff members, and parents. Readers chose from the reading list then upon completion of a book filled out a response form or recorded a video on Flipgrid, leaving a 90-second video in which they shared their thoughts about the book. Mini prizes were distributed each time they submitted a response.
During the book parties, the boys reflected on what kind of book wins the Newbery award. They shared how they would adjust scenes, whether a book’s plot was unique, and which characters they liked and why or why not. One fifth grader said of Undefeated, “It was slow to emerge,” while another said of Beyond the Bright Sea, “I liked that it was a journey of self-discovery.” Orphan Island encouraged a lengthy discussion amongst the fifth graders with comments such as: “It’s perfect for fan fiction,” and “The shark is a metaphorical reference to the fact that if you leave [the island] something bad will happen.” While it wasn’t voted as the favorite, Sir Isaac Newton was referenced when a sixth grader said, “Most of the books I read were first person, which I felt meant I got to know the character better.”
When it came time for the final vote at each pizza party the winners were:
4L and 5th Grade - The Someday Birds, by Sally J. Pla
4B – Scar Island, by Dan Gemeinhart
6th and 7th Grades – Last Day on Mars, by Kevin Emerson
Certificates were presented to all the boys. Additional congratulations go to the top readers in each grade: fourth grader Bobby Wholey, who read fourteen books; fifth grader Nicholas Hutfilz, who read twenty books; and sixth grader Jeremy Negrin, who read eight books.
We hope these boys and more will participate in our next Adi’s Challenge, which will begin at the end of September!

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.