Battle of the Books winners

Posted on: Jan 11, 2019

After reading 14 books in eight weeks, then answering from a pool of 450 possible questions during three rounds of competition involving 30 teams, Zeke Schwehr, Lincoln Hanson and Thomas Depa were basking in the glory of their first-place Battle of the Books finish on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

“It feels like we just won the Stanley Cup,” said Hanson.

The third-grade competition began with three preliminary rounds on Monday, through which the 30 teams were whittled down to nine for the semifinals on Tuesday. There, Schwehr, Hanson and Depa sweated out a tough challenge from their classmates to secure a tie between the second- and third-place teams and be one of three teams to advance to the finals.

“I felt like we were doomed” in the semifinals, said Schwehr. “It looked like we were done. We were in third place going into the finals, but the underdogs have brought it home.”

Hanson felt the same way.

“I didn’t think we were going to make it out of the semifinals,” he said. “We’re bringing home gold though.”

In the finals they relied on quick reflexes and strong memories to buzz in first, quickly discuss their answer, then reply to the question before the 12-second time limit expired. 

“It’s very competitive. At the same time, it’s friendly competition,” Schwehr said.

“It’s just fun to see your friends and compete against them,” said Depa.

The second-place team included Sadie Rosenow, Sienna Clare and Alivia Rodriguez. Third-place winners were Max Schmit, Austin Kazin and Marshall Sipe.

All about reading
Angela Kalthoff, the gifted and talented coordinator for Delano Elementary, organized this year’s competition and said she was pleased with the outcome.

“This is the first year they can do it, so we usually have a large group that is interested,” she said, adding that many teams performed well in the early rounds even though they did not advance.

The overall objective is to get students excited about reading and to introduce a variety of genres.

“You have fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction and more, so there are all different sorts of genres they are exposed to,” said Kalthoff. “These are tried and true books. They are books that are pretty well known and are great for kids to read, so it’s great to see the excitement and the participation.”

Depa said his favorite book was fantasy adventure “The Forests of Silence.” Schwehr preferred “The Bite of the Gold Bug” about the Alaskan gold rush. Hanson liked “Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep,” a variation on the story of “Sleeping Beauty.” 

A separate Battle of the Books for students in grades four through six will take place in the intermediate school next month.

Post Categories: Elementary School