Webster elementary school librarians organized the schoolwide reading program starting with 16 books — the Sweet 16.
Teachers read picture books to students who then voted for their favorites in a bracket-style tournament similar to the NCAA March Madness. The book brackets were displayed for the school to see as throughout March; the Sweet 16 was reduced to the Elite 8, then the Final Four, and eventually the championship round.
Not all schools read the same books, but they all followed the same format. At State Road, Klem Road South, Plank Road North and Plank Road South elementary schools, “Not Quite a Narwhal” by Jessie Sima went up against “Gaston” by Kelly DiPucchio in the finals.
“Gaston” won at Klem South, Plank South and State, while “Not Quite a Narwhal” won at Plank North. “Gaston” was also a finalist at DeWitt Road and Klem Road North elementary schools, where it took on “The Wall in the Middle of the Book” by Jon Agee and “Ada Twist Scientist” by Andrea Beaty, respectively, and won.
At Schlegel, the championship round resulted in “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear” by Lindsay Mattick winning over “Not Quite a Narwhal.”