CBC Sponsors Battle of the Book Clubs

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 CBC Radio’s Matt Rainnie hosts the Battle of the Book Clubs held at The Guild on Feb. 20

Five great works of Canadian fiction; five celebrity panellists; one week of heated debates about Canadian literature: that’s what Canada Reads week is about on the CBC.

But this year, PEI took an advance look at those books, with reading clubs from across the Island each championing one of the Canada Reads books in the inaugural Battle of the Book Clubs.

The contenders and the books they championed were:

Beyond Words, Souris and Montague; “Not Wanted on the Voyage” by Timothy Findley
The Society for the Appreciation of Great Literature, Bluefield High School; “Brown Girl in the Ring” by Nalo Hopkinson
The Eptek Book Club, Summerside; “From the Fifteenth District” by Mavis Gallant
The Friday Night Girls, Summerside; “King Leary” by Paul Quarrington
The South Shore Book Club, Argyle to Bonshaw: “Icefields” by Thomas Wharton

The clubs faced off at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown before a live audience on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Matt Rainnie, the host of CBC Radio’s Mainstreet, hosted the evening. 

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A member of the Eptek Book Club defends “From the Fifteenth District” by Mavis Gallant.

There was trivia, charades, great door prizes and a lot of laughs. All clubs put up a spirited defence of their books, but, in the end, Bluefield High School’s Society for the Appreciation of Great Literature was chosen as the audience favourite for their creative defence of “Brown Girl in the Ring” by Nalo Hopkinson, which included props, costumes and acting.

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 Some members of the victorious Bluefield High School Team deliver the team’s victory speech.

Canada Reads is a weeklong radio special that celebrates books. Tune in to CBC Radio One from Feb. 25 to 29 to hear the panellists make the case for why their favourite Canadian fiction should be picked as the Canadian book to read in 2008.

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