FIS has won the Hong Kong Battle of the Books

By Rachel Lim & Elissa Zhu, 9A

On Friday the 5th of May, 14 pupils from Y7 to Y9, including Elissa and I, set out to conquer the world: Battle Of the Books Semi-finals. Armed with the profound knowledge of 20 books, the sheer balls of energy called Mrs. Mayanobe and Mrs. Francony and a boatload of croissants, we set out into the unknown world of Kellet International School. After a tiresome battle, we managed to secure the win with an astounding 51 points, 5 points more than our nearest competitors.

Something that people don't really know about B.O.B is that it isn't a boring round of even more boring questions- every question could assure you the victory, every missed question could make you waver, every right answer igniting a hopeful spark and celebrated together, every wrong one accepted as a group mistake. It's exhilarating and exciting, terrifying and adrenaline-filled. Unknown eyes are looking upon you, feeling the anticipation and the pressure that lies within the words you speak into the microphone.

Uncertainties questioned, debatable titles checked- this is more than a competition, this is a gamble for life and death (just kidding!!). We are so glad to have been part of it.

But this wasn't over, this was just the first step on the ladder, and we had yet to reach the top.  There were a total of 11 days between the semi-finals and the finals, and each and every single day the members of the team were going over books like they were their lifeline. They reread 1,2 even 4 books in quick succession, and training sessions were intense and mentally exhausting. Strategies were reviewed and improved upon and before we knew it, it was time.

Motivated and animated, we arrived at the venue at the Swiss-German School a good hour early, just to find the auditorium completely empty of people. Jokes were passed around (as were candy and books) and soon our competitors and fellow finalists began to trickle in.

We were on the first round against Shatin College. It was a tight round but we ended up tying. Gradually we found ourselves accumulating points unlike the other teams and by half time we were ahead by two points. Thanks to Patrice and Madhavi who tallied our points and gave us an indication of how well we were doing, we gained even more confidence in our abilities and pulled ahead by a whopping 6 points.

B.O.B is one of the best experiences we've had this whole school year and it really feels like we've made a family with everyone who participated - as this is FIS's first secondary win in all history of Battle of the Books.

A big thanks to Mrs. Mayanobe for supporting and pushing us through this amazing adventure. So here's to next year!!

With much love and hugs from

Elissa Zhu (9A)- team leader, Aoi Guyado (9A), Rachel Lim (9A), Patrice Yip (9B), Tanisha Vashishtha (8A), Ryan Ning (8A), Gabriella Deegan (8B), Leelani Neveux (8B), Madhavi Chakravorty (8B), Gaia Liu (7A), Imogen Rowley (7B)- team leader, Sophia Abdallah (7B), Urvi Bansal (7B) and Zoey Liu (7B)