Santa Barbara County’s 20th Annual Battle of the Books was online this year, and still saw 140 students grades four through six from more than 33 schools compete.
This year’s co-champions are the Masters of the Books and the Lightning Readers, and the champions received Battle of the Books T-shirts and a book to read for next year’s competition.
The third-place team, The Dragon Readers, fought hard, forcing the contest into overtime, according to a press release from the County Education Office.
“We would like to commend our participants for their perseverance and preparation for this exciting competition. The students demonstrated exceptional teamwork and collaboration during this literary Battle,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools. “We’re grateful for access to technology to continue the rich history of this literary competition online.”
Throughout the year, students — with the support of coaches and parents — read as many of the titles as possible, preparing to answer questions in competitive battles. Students from different schools are assigned to a team during the competition, allowing each participant to make new friends, collaborate under pressure and practice teamwork.
Several students received special recognition for reading all 28 of the books on the Battle List. One of those students, Camila Muñoz Cervantes, a student at Miller School in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District who has a visual impairment, read all of the books in Braille or via audiobook.
“We are so proud of her outstanding work,” the County Education Office wrote in a press release.This year’s competition included six rounds in which the students answered multiple-choice questions and identified book quotes. Guest author Alexis O’Neill read the questions in this year’s final round.