The third annual Tournament of Books at Islip’s Commack Road Elementary School ended on April 14 with Tomie dePaolo’s “Strega Nona” narrowly edging out Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”
Beginning in early March, the school’s “Sweet 16” of books were challenged each week until the field narrowed to eight titles. Two books were read to classes during reading or social-emotional periods, and students compiled the votes. The eight titles were whittled down to the Final Four, then just two, before “Strega Nona” was declared the champion tome.
“’If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’ can go back on the bookshelf, but it doesn’t mean we can’t read it,” said fifth grader Michael Corrigan.
“If was really great to build readers as a school community and get excited about books together,” said teacher Christine LeMaire. “The bulletin board in the main hall displayed the tournament, and daily announcements kept the enthusiasm up. Some have even begun to talk about next year.”