The Blue Titans, from left, Ramsey O’Mera, Miles Angelovic, Winter Radcliffe, Rain Nelson and Mia Miano won the 2024 Battle of the Books on March 22. The fourth-graders represented Sequim’s Helen Haller Elementary School. (North Olympic Library System)

The Blue Titans, from left, Ramsey O’Mera, Miles Angelovic, Winter Radcliffe, Rain Nelson and Mia Miano won the 2024 Battle of the Books on March 22. The fourth-graders represented Sequim’s Helen Haller Elementary School. (North Olympic Library System)

Helen Haller Elementary team wins annual Battle of Books

SEQUIM — A team from Sequim came out on top of a tiebreaker to win the North Olympic Library System’s annual Battle of the Books.

The Blue Titans from Helen Haller Elementary featuring Miles Angelovic, Mia Miano, Rain Nelson, Ramsey O’Mera and Winter Radcliffe won the trivia competition on March 22 at the Port Angeles Main Library.

Teams answered three rounds of trivia about books they read for the program, NOLS staff said, and teams knew the books so well there was a four-way tie.

“A pre-planned tiebreaker question just wasn’t hard enough, and to break the now two-way tie, we had to create two more​ questions on the spot,” Youth Services Librarian Clair Dunlap said.

“It was wonderful to see the students’ excellent sportsmanship, teamwork and excitement about reading.”

NOLS youth services librarians led monthly discussions with 170 students at 12 schools in Clallam County through the school year.

Each student received free copies of three books to keep funded by Friends of the Library groups. The books included “Chupacarter” by George Lopez, “Maizy Chen’s Last Chance” by Lisa Yee and “My Aunt is a Monster” by Reimena Yee.

Helen Haller fourth-grade teacher Keely Oberly said students all told her they loved the challenge.

Miano said she appreciated the books that were donated and that it helped expand her home library, while Radcliffe liked that it stretched their brains.

“Every fourth-grader should do Battle of the Books!” Colin Bixby said.

Oberly said she’s “incredibly proud of our students for their hard work and dedication.”

“Students have been working for months to prepare, and it was reflected as they tested their knowledge and came together for some brilliant teamwork,” she said.

“We are very thankful for NOLS providing this program because it gets students excited about reading and encourages them to explore new books.”

For Battle of the Books, nine teams competed from Five Acre School, Helen Haller and Olympic Peninsula Academy in Sequim with teams from Crescent, Dry Creek, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson and Roosevelt elementary schools.

NOLS staff tallied 194 family members, classmates and other community members as they cheered on the students.

For more about the program, visit nols.org/bob.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of newspapers Peninsula News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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