With loud music, screams and thunderous applause worthy of rock star status, the teams for the Battle of the Books were introduced.

“Thank you for supporting our children and literacy. Thank you for all you do,” Mayor Stan Booker said.

At the beginning of the school year for Lawton Public Schools (LPS), 16 elementary school teams composed of 3 students each were given a list of 15 books to read. Quotes were presented on 3 digital boards and the teams were tasked with identifying the book title and author where the quote came from. 1 point was awarded for the correct title and 1 point was awarded for the correct author.

“Let’s get ready to battle,” the proctor Paul Henderson yelled.

Fitted with figurative helmets of knowledge and armor of literary quotes, the students were ready.

“I once heard that if a person has nine bad things about them out of ten, you should just focus on the one good thing and try to leave the rest alone” was one of the quotes.

The answer: “Winterhouse” by Glen Guterson.

After 20 quotable questions, the battle was over.

Literary quotes were strewn about in the aftermath of the battlefield.

16 teams entered, but only 3 would place.

The prize for the top 3 teams — a walk on the red carpet and a limo ride from Dusk Till Dawn limo service to feast at Mike’s Sports Grill. The score between first and second place was close: 21-20.

“It’s exciting and amazing,” Larue Dabney, one coach of the Book Wizards said. "#1 feels good. They practiced every week and even missed recess.”

Jamie Vance was the other Pioneer Park coach.

“I was nervous, but when they said ‘1st place’ I was excited,” Hallie Pooschke of the Book Wizards said.

“This was the most intense thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Anthony Klajder of the Book Wizards said.

Brody Cameron and Cade Mackey were other members of the Book Wizards team.

“I’m proud of all the children who participated,” Mayor Booker said.

"2020 was LPS's biggest Battle of the Books yet. Each student and team courageously represented their school in front of hundreds of family and friends," Allegra Robertson, Library Media Specialist at Edison Elementary and 2020 Chair for Battle of the Books. "Thank you to Cameron University and the LPS Communication and Media teams for helping to make the 2020 Battle of the Books a smashing success. We are proud of every student, team, coach and school who chose to put their time and energy into supporting reading."

Recommended for you