CYPRESS TEXAS — Langham Creek High School students won the third annual Book Battles against their fellow CFISD high school participants, held April 1 at Cy-Fair High School.

Each of the district’s high schools had the opportunity to put together a team of 4-8 students to attend and compete in the CFISD battle. The students had seven months to read and study 12 books chosen by the high school librarians, who learned of the idea for the competition from the Texas Librarian’s Association conference four years ago and brought it to CFISD.

Cy-Fair High School students Aysha Alexander (left) and Kelsey Roberson (center) discuss their team’s answer with Rosaleen Sweiti during the championship match of the third annual Book Battles, held April 1 at Cy-Fair High School. The trio finished second in the competition.
Cy-Fair High School students Aysha Alexander (left) and Kelsey Roberson (center) discuss their team’s answer with Rosaleen Sweiti during the championship match of the third annual Book Battles, held April 1 at Cy-Fair High School. The trio finished second in the competition.

“I came from the elementary level where all kids love the library and I couldn’t understand what happened between elementary and high school that kids stopped going to the library,” said Sandra Jones, Langham Creek librarian. “It’s what I put above everything else – getting kids connected to books again. I think that’s where a lot of us in the district are on the same page. We’re just trying to get kids connected to books again.”

The competition, which featured 10 teams, was set up in a double elimination format, allowing each participating team an opportunity to continue on despite losing a round.

The finals came down to Langham Creek and Cy-Fair, which made it to the end despite competing with only three students. The winner-take-all final ended tied before Langham Creek prevailed in the fourth round of extra questions.

Winning team members were freshman William Hudson, sophomores Madelynn Ponder and Sarah Warring, juniors Sarah Dao, Ben Hudson, Matthew Hudson and Christopher Land and senior Nadine Ineza.

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Juniors Kelsey Roberson, Aysha Alexander and Rosaleen Sweiti made up Cy-Fair’s runner-up team. Jersey Village High School finished third.

“Every battle was very close and these kids were well prepared,” Jones said.

Said Ponder: “We all came from different areas of the school and we all had a love for reading. That was the main thing but we all grew on each other’s interests by sharing the details of the books and quizzing each other.”

The third annual Book Battles was held April 1 at Cy-Fair High School, bringing participants together from across the district to compete in a double-elimination competition based on 12 books each read and studied.
The third annual Book Battles was held April 1 at Cy-Fair High School, bringing participants together from across the district to compete in a double-elimination competition based on 12 books each read and studied.

Helping facilitate the competition and serving as judges and timers were current and former CFISD librarians and staff members, as well as Harris County Lone Star College-CyFair librarians Tracy Williams and Melanie Wachsmann.

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