By Kate Coleman
Eleven-year-old Jack Corcoran of Keedysville says he doesn't mind being called a "word nerd."
Jack is one of six members of the Word Nerds II team that won the final verbal round of competition in Washington County Free Library's 10th Battle of the Books April 1.
Seventeen teams of six to eight fourth- through sixth-graders signed up for the program last November. All the kids on Word Nerds II are home-schooled. Each team was given a set of 20 books selected from a number of areas on a variety of reading levels. The "battle" tests the readers' knowledge of the books.
"It's an exercise in memory, really," according to Jeff Ridgeway, librarian in the children's department of Washington County Free Library.
Written competition March 4 narrowed the field to eight teams. Ridgeway says three verbal rounds, including the championship April 1, followed a format similar to television's "It's Academic."