The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile


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Battle of the Books- A Q&A With Second Place Fantasy Battle Winners

Horizon readers, rejoice! On November 30, Horizon’s Battle of the Books team took second place at their Fantasy Genre Battle, hosted by Thornton High School. This battle followed a month of reading in preparation to compete against teams from other district high schools, and while our Hawks didn’t earn first place, their second-place ranking was celebrated!

Battle of the Books, a competitive reading competition, requires students to read books from four genres, with three books per genre. After about two months in which the books from one specific genre are read by teammates, a battle is hosted at one of the participating high schools’ libraries. There, teams put their book knowledge to the test as they are asked questions about plot points, setting details, notable characters, and book quotes from the three books, and by the end, whichever school earns the most points wins.

Thursday’s battle was in the Fantasy genre and featured the titles Only a Monster, The Raven Boys, and Caraval. In many battles, Horizon has gone neck-and-neck with Legacy High School, and this battle was no exception, with a Horizon and Legacy team in first and second place by the halfway point. Sadly, the Hawks lost their first-place win to Legacy’s team but were able to secure a second-place ranking with the self-named team “Fruit Salad”. I interviewed the team following the battle about their thoughts on their performance and where they will go from here.


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The Profile: What did you do to prepare for the battle?


Sophomore Hannah Mosel: “I read Only A Monster, and honestly I didn’t need to prepare since I genuinely loved the book, but I paid closer attention to minor details than I normally would (like the names of buildings or background characters).”


Senior Connor Flanagan: “I read two of the three books completely, and I got close to finishing the third book.”


Senior Karina Gayatao: “I read a bit of The Raven Boys, which was one of the books we had for the battle, but I didn’t have enough time to finish it, so I pulled up a synopsis online instead! It helped me a ton and it managed to score our team some points!”


Senior Aaron Ortega: “I completely finished one book (Caraval), and made sure that I was an expert on just that one book. This is one reason I love BOB so much is that there really is no minimum requirement for participation. If you only have time to finish one book, you can be the resident expert for said book. This is a team effort and you don’t have to do it alone.”


The Profile: Was your second-place win about what you expected?


Hannah Mosel: “This is my second battle overall so I had no idea what we were going to place. I guess I wasn’t expecting that high because it’s better to underestimate.”


Connor Flanagan: “2nd place was really cool. I’ve never done Battle of the Books before, and it was really cool to score so high.”


Karina Gayatao: “I didn’t expect to place 2nd at all! I guess it’s just that, speaking from experiences in the past, the teams I’ve been on have always placed closer to last.”


Aaron Ortega: “Second place was actually expected for me because Horizon is normally always 2nd best to Legacy. However, it’s this false sense of security that allowed us to beat them when it mattered most: the Final District Battle last year.”


The Profile: What have you found productive/good for your school experience by being in Battle of the Books?


Hannah Mosel: “It’s helped me in English especially, and also I’ve made a lot of friends because of it!”


Connor Flanagan: “I’ve always been a really good reader, but recently I hadn’t really read a lot of books on my own. I have a couple books that I love that I read over and over, but being in BOB has made me more open to reading different stories and genres.”


Karina Gayatao: “Battle of the Books has increased my love for reading a significant amount, and I absolutely love the fact that I can rant and laugh about the things we read with my friends! It’s not all competition, we like to have a lot of fun, too!”


Aaron Ortega: “Reading in any capacity always helps academically in a myriad of ways. One of my favorites being the strong vocabulary you build up from being exposed to so many writing styles. I have no way to prove this, but I like to believe that reading this much helps with reading speed. Being a slow reader is something I’ve always struggled with, but I do feel like I’ve gotten better the more I’ve read.”


The Profile: What’s your goal for the next battle, and what do you plan to do for it?


Hannah Mosel: “My goal is to read more than one book, I’ve already gotten through a good chunk of one book and the others look pretty interesting as well!”


Connor Flanagan: “I plan on finishing all 3 books before the battle. I have a bad habit now of trying to finish the third book the day of, in one case, in the parking lot 15 minutes before it started, so I would love to finish all 3 books this time earlier.”


Karina Gayatao: “For the next battle, I’ll try to read through the book(s), but I might just end up Googling a synopsis if time runs short.”


Aaron Ortega: “Similarly to everyone else’s goal, I would like to finish more books before the next battle. Although, as I said before, there isn’t a minimum number of books you need to read, it is still helpful.”


The team is content with their second-place win, along with the benefits BOB as a whole has offered to them in fostering their love of reading. With the amount of work they are putting into preparing for the next battle, our reading Hawks are sure to go far in their competitions. With any luck, our Battle of the Books team could even take home a first-place win for the Realistic Fiction battle that is set for January!

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About the Contributor
Grace Hilliard
Grace Hilliard, Assistant copy editor and Marketing and Social Media Director
This is Grace’s first year in journalism- and only year, as they graduate in May! Grace loves writing, art, and storytelling, and she hopes to get some a career in some kind of storytelling field (the dream would be a graphic novelist!). Beyond journalism, they do Battle of the Books and Theater, where they delight in being able to connect with others and discuss, tell, and act stories. In her free time she enjoys drawing, reading, listening to music, playing Minecraft, and watching animated shows.

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