Book Madness!: The Library’s Very Own March Madness Contest

Brock London

Throughout March, Hamilton Library will be holding a book contest March Madness-style. Sixteen books were chosen to compete in the contest, ranging from Graphic novels like “My Hero Academia,” to the Urban fiction genre of “The Hate U Give.” The first voting round ended last week Friday, Feb. 25 eliminating eight of the 16 books selected in the tournament. Over a hundred Hamilton students participated in voting for their favorite books. This is huge as the library was only open from Tuesday-Friday, as Monday the building was closed. Amy Rodrock, a librarian at Hamilton Public Library made sure to say that: “Sophomores had voted the most.”

Being the most responsible for the Book Contest Ms. Rodrock shared some of the reasons she wanted to start the event. “I want to get the Hamilton teens more involved with the library and build up that relationship since we are a part of the school,” says Ms. Rodrock. The library hopes that students may learn that the library is a home for them. The contest is a way for high schoolers to get excited about reading in fun ways. The different variety of books featured in March Madness is also a way students may read genres they’d never considered. Ms. Rodrock explained: “Hopefully they’ll see new different books. Maybe they wouldn’t have picked themselves but after reading the first couple pages they think, ‘Oh this is kinda cool,’ and pick up a new genre.”

Reading has made a big difference in Ms. Rodrock’s life as growing up she struggled with anxiety. “Even now. I struggle with a lot of anxiety and reading has always kind of been a way to escape for me. It was a way to cope,” Ms. Rodrock says. She wants to help other teens in whatever way she can: “And it’s not even just about reading. The library has so much in terms of resources and information that I can give back to teens if they want it”

Students can vote for their books by scanning QR codes. In Hamilton’s main hallway along the library’s walls, there are many pictures of books in the contest with a small QR code attached next to them. The papers of the book also include a short synopsis of the series and any comments about the book. Ms. Rodrock also sent the QR link to Hamilton’s English teachers. 

Still, It’s encouraged for students to come in on their own: “Hopefully they’ll come into the library. And check them out and not be scared,” says Ms. Rodrock. 

Ms. Rodrock pulled a report from the Chandler branch’s most checked-out books and compiled the results with popular teen books on Amazon. As for series like “Jujutsu Kaisen,” Ms. Rodrock chose the first book to represent the whole series, figuring that votes will be based on the entire story. 

The book with the most votes so far has been “Shadow and Bone” or the Grisha Trilogy, but Ms. Rodrock doesn’t believe it will be the winner: “I think ‘My Hero Academia’ is really popular. A lot of people know it just by looking at it. If people vote based on popularity or what it looks like then I think that might be a winner.” She also stated it would be interesting to see if the tournament comes down to the final two graphic novels.

Come to the library by Friday every week during March to vote for your favorite book in the March Madness contest. Also, make sure to thank Ms. Rodrock and the rest of the library staff for taking the time to develop such an amazing event.

Here are the results for the first week: 

“The Selection” by Kiera Cass lost to Adam Silvera’s “They Both Die at the End”

John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down” lost to  “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson

The Slice-of-life manga series “Blue Flag” by Kaito lost to “My Hero Academia” by Kohei Hirokoshi

“Renegades” by Marissa Meyers beat Sarah J. Maas’s “A Court of Thorns and Roses”

The recent tv show adapted from Karen M. McManus’s “One of Us Is Lying” beat “We Were Liars,” by E. Lockhart

The Grisha Trilogy, represented by “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo beat “Chain of Gold” by Cassandra Clare

Gege Akutami’s Shonen Jump series “Jujutsu Kaisen” beat “The Girl from the Sea” by Molly Ostertag

Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give” lost to “Five Feet Apart” by  Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Follow up at the Library Friday to see the final four books competing!