Oregon Battle of the Books: 'This is their chance to really shine'

      SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Teams of grade-schoolers from across Lane County put their literary knowledge to the test Saturday at the Oregon Battle of the Books. The teams represented their school at Thurston High, competing on how well they knew 16 assigned titles.

      When you enter in Oregon's Battle of the Books, only the strong survive.

      "The kids that come here are really the champions of their building. So they're competing against other champions. It's exciting, yet intense," said teacher Karen Babcock.

      Lane County's 3rd-5th grade competitors spent hours studying the selected books.

      "(I'm) sort of nervous but since we made it I'm really glad," said 10-year-old Ally Vigue.

      With each win under their belt, Babcock said it was easy to see their confidence grow.

      "A lot of kids that do really well in Battle of the Books don't necessarily get the chance to shine in front of the whole school," said Babcock. "This is their chance to really shine. The confidence they take and the pride they take in working hard... it's unmatched and it sticks with them."

      Regardless if a team moved on or not, they were all in it together.

      "I sort of feel bad for the other teams because they've been sad and they've gone through a lot but they did good so I'm happy," said Vigue.

      First place went to O'Hara, followed by Edgewood in second, and Ridgeline Montessori in third.

      Each of the top three schools will advance to the state tournament in Salem on April 12.