Photo courtesy of WVUSD
Adventures in Wonderland won for Best Classic Book during Castle Rock Elementary’s B’Oscars. Shown:Students Natalie Schaffer and Jolie Escalante accept the gold award.
By Kelli Gile
DIAMOND BAR– Castle Rock Elementary fifth-grade students recently walked the red carpet at their very own Academy Awards, when they hosted a Hollywood-style awards show for their favorite books, authors, series, illustrators, and more during the annual Oscars for Books, coined the “B’Oscars.”
Parents lined the walkway like proud paparazzi, clapping and snapping photos as honorees entered the Diamond Bar High School theatre. Classmates dressed up as the winning characters and bookish peeps took to the stage to accept the tiny gold statues in twelve categories.
“The B’Oscars is such a fantastic way to excite not only our 5th grade students but our entire school with the love of reading. They can’t wait to hear who the winners are!” said Principal Dr. Resma Byrne.
Each class nominated five books in each category in preparation for the celebration of reading.
Teacher Jorge Arauz then combined all the submissions and organized the student voting.
During the March 3 event, four students wearing black suits and sunglasses focused on keeping security tight as they delivered top-secret winning names on stage. All students in the show auditioned for their roles as presenters and book characters and wrote clever descriptions and comments to deliver on stage.
“Reading at Castle Rock means a lot to all students. It is a passport to distant lands!” said 5th grader Rachel Yang.
Costumed nominees, including the 3 Little Pigs and Dumb Bunnies, in the Best Fairytale and Picture Book categories, sat in the first rows of the audience hoping to hear their name announced.
“And now for the moment you’ve been waiting for – drum roll please!” the presenters said. The eager readers took the cue to pound hands on their thighs in anticipation.
“What I love about the B’Oscars is how it transforms reading for every single student!” said teacher Julie McClain. “Even if they weren’t up on stage, students were all rooting for their favorite book to win. This event encourages the whole grade level to read the books and authors that were nominated.”
Characters Pippi Longstocking, Annabeth Chase, Amy Cahill, Hermione Granger, and Ramona Quimby were nominated in the Best Female Protagonist category. “Ramona Quimby is anxious, curious, and tends to annoy people. You’ve got to love the little pest!” said Charlene Hsu.
Students costumed as famed wizards Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and Lord Voldemort, and author J.K. Rowling thanked the audience for voting them the winners in the Best Series category. Detailed book summaries were shown during commercial breaks.
In the Male Protagonist category, the Castle Rock students voted for their favorite “good guy” characters including heroes Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Leo Valdez.
“I’d like to thank my author for inventing my exciting character!” said winning character Percy Jackson, played by Jeffrey Wang.
he thrilling quests detailed in Rick Riordan’s books sealed the award for Best Author. “The sense of adventure really kept the stories going! When I was a teacher, I never thought all of this would be possible!” said student Nathan Tok posing as the author.
The audience screamed in delight when Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief was named Best Book.
“I want to eat some enchiladas!” announced Hagen White playing the part of Percy Jackson’s quirky vegetarian best friend, Grover Underwood. “You never know when you’ll need food!”
The B’Oscars is the action plan for the IB School program of inquiry “How we express ourselves” with the central idea of “Tales that have been with us since the beginning of mankind.”
Students now hope to stock the school library with their favorite titles. “Our book drive is important because we need new books so children can have more imagination,” said 5th grader Charleen Chen.