Fourth Graders Declared Winners of 2021 Battle of the Books Contest


Courtesy of Westside Community Schools Twitter

Team members Hattie Cook, Emily Wittrig, and Isabella Higginbotham.

Battle of the Books is an annual reading competition that takes place throughout the Westside elementary schools. Students create their own teams and assign each member a certain amount of books to read out of a list of ten. Teams then go to Westside Middle School to compete by answering questions about the books they read. The top four teams are then tested on different, more difficult questions. Fourth graders Emily Wittrig, Hattie Cook and Isabella Higginbotham were the winners of this year’s Battle of the Books competition. Wittrig explained how their team, the “Ravenclaw Readers,” worked together.

“Each person on our team plays a part,” Wittrig said. “Hattie [was] the spokesperson. She speaks loud and clearly. Bella is the girl you want to go to for information, and I’m a little bit of both. It’s a good match.”

Wittrig said the win came after many meetings and practices.

“We’ve been preparing for a long time,” Wittrig said. “We had one to two book meetings every month, and there’s ten books, and that means about five months [of preparation].”

However, the girls were not alone in the preparation. Wittrig said her family, specifically her mother, was very helpful throughout the process. 

“I really owe all the success to my mom, the team captain,” Wittrig said. “She was really motivational and she just helped me a lot. One time I had to stay up all night reading a book but I didn’t finish it, so my mom stayed up until one in the morning finishing it.”

Wittrig explained what reading means to her.

“My favorite part about reading is that in a book, it takes you to a happy place where you can imagine and dream up stories of your own,” Wittrig said.

Team member Cook said she enjoyed the competition and explained the plot of one of her favorite books she read. 

“My favorite book I’d have to say is ‘The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl’, because it was pretty funny,” Cook said. “It’s about a girl named Lucy that got struck by lightning when she was in second grade when she was climbing a fence. Then she became super intelligent in math.” 

Cook explained how she felt after finding out her team had won the competition. 

“I was super surprised, so much that I could cartwheel and somersault,” Cook said. 

Cook stated the qualities needed by a competitor in order to succeed in the competition. 

“You have to have a good memory and you have to be a fast reader, but not too fast because you can miss some of the important details,” Cook said.

Wittrig said she is glad she competed in Battle of the Books.

“I’m really just glad that I participated in it,” Wittrig said. “It was a nice experience and it was nice to face up against the other schools. I thought it was just really fun and exciting.”