Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Rachel Seo, Features Editor

A highly underrated event that transpires each year, Battle of the Books is a reading competition sponsored by the Yorba Linda Public Library that occurred on Saturday, February sixth here at YLHS. It has been hosted on campus for several years since its inception, and has become a local tradition for elementary-, middle-, and high schoolers alike.

The competitors are split up into three separate categories: the elementary school division (fourth through sixth grade), the middle school division (sixth through eighth grade), and the high school division (ninth through twelfth grade). Competitors form teams of five members or less–the max is three participants for the high schoolers–and sign up to participate at the library. They then receive a list of books that the team members are required to read, discuss, and memorize. Preparation culminates on the day of the Battle, when teams compete against other teams in their division to see who remembers more information and trivia from the books. The competition is single-round elimination–one wrong answer can mean instant death–and winners receive ribbons, certificates, gift cards, and, of course, bragging rights. For the literary geek, it is story heaven.

According to the Yorba Linda Public Library website, four hundred students competed in total this year across all three divisions. Four of the ninety-one teams were in the high school division.

Caroline Birchfield (11) was a competitor in the high school division, where she stated that her team “had three members total…There [were] only two to three members allowed per team [in the high school division].” Her favorite book from the required reading list was Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, although her team was also required to read other popular young adult novels such as The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, a fantastical prequel to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series; I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore, an action-adventure sci-fi novel that was made into a movie; City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, the first in a series that was developed into the TV show Shadowhunters on Freeform; and Divergent, by Veronica Roth, a dystopian chronicle that was made into a movie starring Shailene Woodley.

Winners of the middle school division included students from Golden and Woodsboro, while the students that comprised the victorious elementary school team mainly hailed from Golden. Students from Valencia and Parkview won the high school division.

The library hosts other events aimed at children and teenagers weekly. For more information, please go to or