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Another year of champions to be decided in Global March Book Madness

The “tournament” started in Grand Island, now in its 8th year, has expanded globally
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:18 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Global March Book Madness was started seven years ago by Newell Elementary Principal Nate Balcom. It’s a chance for people around the world to vote for their favorite picture book and novel.

Here’s how it works:

  • Students submit novels and picture books they think should be considered
  • Principal Balcom chooses 64
  • He seeds them and puts them into two separate brackets
  • People spend March and April voting for the winner

“The goal has always been just to increase the love of reading among students and expose students to new books,” Balcom said.

The idea initially was just in Mr. Balcom’s class before he was challenged to expand it to other classrooms. It then grew to other schools in Grand Island, then to other states and now has seven countries participating in it. This year there were 35,534 students registered and 374 parents and teachers.

“We were looking for ways to encourage the students to love reading and find some new books and it’s just grown since then,” Balcom said.

The championship for the picture book bracket is “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” versus “The Book With No Pictures”. The novel championship is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” versus “One and Only Ivan”.

Voting concludes at Midnight on Thursday, April 15.

Visit here to submit your vote.

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