One hundred sixty students battle over books online!

Yesterday, 160 students had the opportunity to compete in the 19th Annual Battle of the Books – online! Team #23, Where the Books Meet the Moon, earned the top honors and received t-shirts for their victory while Team #11, The Page Turners, earned the runner up spot, walking away with autographed books. Grace Sugich from Ballard School was the first place winner for the individual competition, winning the overall competition with 45,351 total points. The stimulating competition was held virtually, and students in grades 4-6 from over 40 schools in Santa Barbara County participated.

“We were thrilled to be able to honor the hard work, tenacity, and perseverance of the students while allowing them to have an invigorating competitive literary experience as is typically done in our annual Battle of the Books,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido.

Throughout the year, students, with the support of coaches and parents, read as many of the books on the 2020 Book List as possible, preparing to answer questions about the books in competition “battles.” Each student is appointed to a team with four or five students from different schools. This gives each participant the opportunity to make new friends, collaborate under pressure, and learn teamwork. Prior to competition day, each team created an online battle shield with a creative or clever name.

The competition includes three rounds in which the students answer multiple-choice questions. As an example, a question might be, “In what book does a character cast a spell of invisibility to help them run away?” (Answer: Dealing with Dragons) The event culminates in a final battle between the two teams that have acquired the most points during the day’s earlier rounds. Guest author Valerie Hobbs read the questions in this year’s final battle.

Pulling off a complex event was a logistical feat, but the students and their volunteer coaches took advantage of the multiple online practice sessions provided by SBCEO to insure everyone was comfortable in the online format. Students rose to the challenge and enjoyed the opportunity to share their knowledge and interact with each other.

Click here for the 2021 Book List