EMSB high schools compete in 2024 Battle of The Books; Royal West finishes second in Ultimate Battle

 By Julian Taylor

Every year, all EMSB high schools are invited to take part in “The Battle of the Books” (or “Boob” as it is affectionately known as by its participants); a quiz-show style competition where questions are based upon 12 pre-selected Young Adult novels that teams in each school read over the course of the school year. 

BoB allows students to explore a variety of literary genres while simultaneously developing teamwork skills. Launched at the Lester B. Pearson School Board in 2013, the program has grown steadily each year to include an increasing number of schools across the city. At the EMSB, it is an event that is organized by the high school librarians and the Educational Services Department. The past few weeks have seen an exciting conclusion for the 2024 season of Battle of the Books here at the EMSB. From the initial seven participating school teams, the top four scoring teams were James Lyng, Royal West Academy, Rosemount, and Vincent Massey Collegiate. They  competed at 6000 Fielding on the evening of April 11 to see which would be victorious.

 After an exciting two regular rounds and two lightning rounds, two school teams, Royal West Academy and Vincent Massey Collegiate, were tied for first place at 71 points. They then went into the rarely needed “Tie-Breaker” round, where the first team to answer a question correctly wins. After an unprecedented round of 5 tiebreaker questions, the team from Royal West Academy emerged victorious! This is the second year in a row that Royal West Academy has won the coveted EMSB BoB Championship Banner.

The Vincent Massey Collegiate team.

One week later, on April 18, the team from Royal West Academy returned to 6000 Fielding, this time to represent the EMSB in the Ultimate BoB Battle against Macdonald High School from the Lester B. Pearson School Board and Hebrew Academy from the Quebec Association of Independent Schools. It was another high energy night as all three teams competed to see which of them would be crowned the 2024 Ultimate BoB Champion from all across the island of Montreal. Throughout the evening, it was very close and it really could have been any of the three teams that would come out on top. In the end, Macdonald High School  won with 66 points; with Royal West Academy coming in a close second place with 59 points.

As it is every year, a number of special guests take part as question readers for both the Board and the Ultimate Battles. This year the special guests were Mitali Banerjee Ruths (a local Montreal children’s author), Jason Magder (reporter with the Montreal Gazette) and Gloria Henriquez (reporter for Global News). Special thanks also to all of the Educational Services professionals who took part again this year in all levels of the Battle of The Books competitions.

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