Winning Battle of the Books — It was bound to happen

Book Club Wins Battle of the Books for the first time in seven years


Emily Early

Grinning, senior Addie Gleason and the president of Battle of the Books team, senior Elle Rotter holds up the trophy after winning. Rotter also competed last year, one of three returning members. “When I was holding the trophy, I saw it as a moment of reflection. We won for the first time, but it also gave me a moment to reflect on the friendships that I’ve made through this club. There’s a lot of people I don’t think I would have ever become friends with if I didn’t meet them through book club,” Rotter said.

Sitting around tables in the library, the Battle of the Books (BOTB) teams from all four Parkway schools and Rockwood Summit compete for a two-foot-tall trophy and the title of that year’s Battle of the Books Champion.

Seven years ago, the district librarians decided to have a Battle of the Books. The librarians choose 10 books from the Gateway Award winners and add some nonfiction books. Teams have all school year to read the 10 books and get ready to compete in April, where they will be asked 80 questions about the books. This is the first year West has ever won or hosted.

“I was so happy for them. I know they’ve worked so hard, put a lot of time and effort into it and were excited to have it at West for the first time. I also knew how much they’d work towards it, and it was just nice to see them accomplish their goal,” Librarian and West Battle of the Books sponsor Lauren Reush said.

Seniors Elle Rotter, Allie Toombs, Jackson Larson, Addie Gleason, juniors Emily Early, Cecile Wolters, sophomores Rose Loethen, Zoe Gleason, Izza Naig and freshman Ella Early were members of this year’s team. The team bonding experience was one of the best things to come of BOTB, Naig believes.

“I joined because I like reading, and reading has brought me closer to the people in Book Club. [My favorite parts of BOTB were] enjoying the experience with everyone. We related to the book[s] and just had a conversation with each other,” Naig said.

Ella Early believes that, despite being the only freshman and youngest one on the team, she wasn’t left out. Because she joined the club late, Ella Early contributed to the team by specializing in “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

“It was more helpful to have quality [than] quantity. I learned a lot about one book, which made the answers easier [for me] than some people who read a little bit about each [book] and didn’t know all the answers [for one book]. And, I learned how to read a book in four days,” Ella Early said.

The group prepared for the competition by individually reading, making Quizlets, and having team meetings. They reviewed for a month before the competition.

“You can’t really win on your own. You have to rely on others [and] trust the people around you, and they can help you. I guess you always have people you can rely on and people that you can help,” Larson said.