BY ATHARVA INAMDAR ‘24
The Edison High School Battle of the Books teams have found victory again this year in spite of the digital competition and new challenges that came with the pandemic. Battle of the Books (BoTB) is a competition where teams of six students compete against each other to answer questions about a predetermined set of books.
Teams are tasked with reading and remembering details of various books. “A mother overhears a conversation while faking to cook,” said the school librarian Mrs. Doreen Stocker, as an example question one would expect during the competition. Teams would answer with the title and author of the book with the matching scene.
This year, three teams emerged victorious in the intra-school competition: a group of seniors won first place, a group of sophomores won second, and a group of freshmen won third. “The [inter-school] competition is usually hosted at another high school, and the location changes from year to year,” said Stocker. However, due to COVID, this year’s competition shifted into the virtual world.
The online schedule was more loose; consequently, there were no set meetings and no practice questions. The captains of each team had to coordinate the teams’ studies and make sure their teams were prepared for the competition. The competition was hosted on Zoom, but communication posed to be a challenge. Still, the best teams managed to converse and work together.
“There was a good amount of communication,” said Abdullah Rizvi ‘23. “We decided it would be easier to make a discord chat and talk there. This allowed better communication and made the experience more fun.” Another competing team said, “It was different from usual, but the overall process was handled pretty well”.
The senior team of Edison High won first place. “They didn’t miss a single question,” said Stocker.
The second and third place teams of Edison High were consolidated into one team for the inter-school competition, and they tied with J.P. Stevens for second place. Although the digital format made this year’s Battle of the Books’ competition different, Edison High proved that their determination was more than enough to secure the win.