Last year, as Villanova battled its way through March Madness to the NCAA basketball championship, the Staples High School English department conducted its own bracket.
To Kill a Mockingbird beat out fellow Final 4 contenders Pride and Prejudice, The Diary of Anne Frank and 1984 to win the first-ever Favorite Book Ever tournament.
‘Nova did not repeat as 2019 champs. Nor did Harper Lee’s classic novel.
In the case of the Wildcats, they weren’t good enough. But for the books, they changed the rules.
This year’s contest — organized by teachers Mary Katherine Hocking and Rebecca Marsick, with help from Tausha Bridgeforth and the Staples library staff — was for Best Book to Movie Adaptation.
Thirty-two contenders were chosen. Voting was done online. Large bracket posters near the English department and library kept interest high.
As always, there were surprises. Some classic book/film combinations — like The Godfather — fell early. Others that Hocking expected to be less popular (Twilight, Little Women) battled hard.
The field ranged far and wide, from Romeo and Juliet and Gone With the Wind to Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein.
Hocking’s email updates to students and staff were fun to read. Before the final — after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone crushed The Hunger Games, and The Princess Bride edged The Help — she wrote: “The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Westley versus Weasley, Vizzini versus Voldemort, Humperdinck versus Hermione.”
We’ll let Hocking announce the winner.
The Princess Bride has taken a rogue bludger to the head, losing to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With a final score of 94-49, this year’s House Cup, Quidditch World Cup, Triwizard Cup all go to Harry Potter and Queen JK.
Remember, one can never have enough socks, and one can never have enough books to fill the time. Please check out any or all of these books from your local library as we head into spring break.
She and Marsick are already planning next year’s contest.