Sweet Revenge: Comeback victory is a year in the making for North Bend battlers

North Bend Elementary School
North Bend Elementary School's Battle of the Books team, Revenge, celebrate their win April 25. Pictured clockwise from left are Noah Ribary, A.J. Kinsella-Johnson, Kaitlyn Linder, Logan Garwood and Anthony Gilden.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Last year, North Bend Elementary fielded a young team for the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s annual five-school battle for reading supremacy. All fourth graders in a field of mixed ages, the team finished last in the 2013 Battle of the Books. They knew they’d be back, and their team name was a no-brainer — Revenge.

“They organized team meetings starting last summer,” says Nancy Kinsella-Johnson, whose son A.J., was on the team that took first place April 25. “They were serious about revenge.”

They weren’t the only ones. Opstad’s Book Worms, who tied for third last year, were equally intent. “They’ve all read these books five or six times,” Amber Henry whispered, as the competition began.

Each team had worked hard, just to get to this level. The district Battle of the Books, hosted this year by Snoqualmie Elementary School, is a competition to correctly answer the most questions about events and characters in a dozen books, selected by elementary librarians the previous spring. Students face head-scratchers like “In which book does pushing a button make music happen and a door open?” And stomach-curdlers like one describing a character lying on stony ground, covered with blood and being stepped on, which drew a round of ows and eews. And sometimes they get questions that must have more than one answer, such as “In which book is a character described as the wildest most untamed most ornery and beautiful creature ever to grace this earth?” The answer surprised one student, who blurted “What?!”

Each correct answer was worth 10 points, and teams watched their scores through every round. Spectators didn’t need a scoreboard to see who won, though. Team Revenge’s faces beamed brighter than their red tie-dyed T-shirts.

Revenge includes captain Kaitlyn Linder, Logan Garwood, Anthony Gilden, A.J. Kinsella-Johnson and Noah Ribary.

Snoqualmie Elementary Book Mode captain Holly Duim, left, consults with teammates Mackenzie Talbott and Mason Chandler.

Cascade View Elementary students are stumped by a question in the Battle of the Books, but not for long.

Will Carter of Cascade View's Beastmode Books brings his team in for a huddle after a question is asked.

Opstad teammates Sophia Gilstrap-Blackmon, left, and Jordan Henry, discuss a question during the April 25 Battle of the Books.

Fall City Elementary team captain Chloe Barber is swarmed by teammates whispering the answer to a question.

A.J. Kinsella realizes his team has won the 2014 Battle of the Books as the scores for the last question are added to the board.


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