Memories were tested and brains were stretched Friday, in one of the hardest-fought Battle of the Books finals.
The teams, one from each of the Snoqualmie Valley School District's five elementary schools, celebrated correct answers in the reading challenge, or shared confused looks when they missed a question, and as the tension built, Fall City Librarian and quizmaster Meg Handy thought it was time to remind everyone why they were here.
"The key thing about the Battle of the Books is to get everyone excited about reading," she said. "Are we there?"
Since each team had prepared for almost an entire year for this day, beating out all the other teams in their own schools, these kids were definitely excited about reading, but also about the competition itself, watching the scoreboard for every update.
Sitting nearby, pre-schoolers Maddie Garwood and Dawson Ribary were untouched by the heat of competition, but almost as excited about reading. Sitting amidst a pile of books and playing with an iPad, the two friends were engrossed in something on the screen, while their parents cheered on their older siblings.
At the end of the 40 rounds of questions, the home team, the Fall City Elementary Dinomites had the top score to take first place. The team includes Chloe Barber, Will Desler, Oliver Lang, Luke Nieman, and Lorenzo Perez.
Snoqualmie Elementary School's Book Battlers took second place. They are Holly Duim, Mackenzie Talbott, Jackson Crumb, Luke Harper and Keara Ryan.
Tying for third place were the teams from Cascade View and Opstad. The CVES Brainiacs include Sarah Creighton, Bailey Hadley, Gemma Haskitt, Ella Hikes and Ryan Turner. The Opstad White Wolves are Sirus Persyn, Isabelle Thomson, Hans Roman, Cody Barber and Maddy Kelly.
Snoqualmie Elementary team Captain Holly Duim, top right, writes down an answer as her teammates describe it to her.
Mackenzie Talbott, left, and Jackson Crumb from Snoqualmie Elementary pause to check the scoreboard.
Opstad team captain Sirus Persyn, center, leans over to check the scoreboard after a round of questioning is complete. Teammates, clockwise from center, are Maddy Kelly, Cody Barber, Isabelle Thomson, and Hans Roman.
Members of the North Bend Elementary Hurricanes have a sudden inspiration for the answer to the book question.
Dawson Ribary and Maddie Garwood, both 5 and in pre-Kindergarten, examine books and watch videos on an iPad in the Fall City Elementary School Library, as the Battle of the Books behind them heats up.
Too excited to sit after hearing the question, Luke Nieman, right, jumps up to tell his classmate, Will Desler, the answer.
Holding their board up for all to see, the Cascade View Brainiacs check out their competitors to see who else got the question correct.
Holding their stuffed bear team mascot, Cascade View team members consult on the answer to a question.