Santa Barbara County Education Office | Credit: Luis Medina

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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY – Elementary and junior high students from all parts of Santa Barbara County competed in the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s annual Battle of the Books, a voluntary reading program that encourages students to read good books from a designated list, and then have fun competing by answering questions about plot, characters, and theme.

The Battle of the Books is becoming increasingly popular among eager readers, who devour lists of books throughout the year leading up to the competition. During the event, students are placed on teams with their peers from different schools. This year, 230 students participated in the competition, which included two virtual events, and one in-person.

The winners of the virtual elementary battle:

1st place: Gwen Bruneel, 6th grade, La Patera Elementary (Goleta Unified School District)

2nd place: Verenise Garcia Ramirez, 5th grade, Battles Elementary (Santa Maria Bonita School District)

3rd place: Jasmin Garcia Garcia, 5th grade, Battles Elementary (Santa Maria Bonita School District)

The winners of the in-person elementary battle:

1st place: Riley Zant of Foothill Elementary, Evelyn Lopez of Harding University Partnership School, Lei’ane Navarro of Ellwood Elementary, Margo Bruneel of La Patera Elementary, Kaushik Pawar of Isla Vista Elementary, Adrian Olmedo of Bruce  Elementary.

2nd place: Lizbeth Cruz of Bruce Elementary, Aman Isukapalli of Isla Vista Elementary, Jade Pattison of Mountain View Elementary, Elliot Singer of Washington Elementary, Maggie Ugoretz of Brandon Elementary.  

The winners of the virtual junior high battle:

1st place: Selah Blackwell, 7th grade, Trivium Charter

2nd place: Sharli Syed, 7th grade, Vandenberg Middle (Lompoc Unified School District)

3rd place: Delaney Gracia, 7th grade, St. Louis de Montfort 

Congratulations to all of the students who participated. The reading lists for next year’s Battle of the Books will be posted here:


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