Everyone did not read every book.
But six Solanco High School students did get through most of the 45 books listed for the first Intermediate Unit 13's Reading Olympics. In the process, they learned enough to tie for second place when teams from two counties competed last month.
There were three rounds of questions; each round had 40 questions, all chosen from the 45 books picked for the competition.
The list of books, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, came from one of the counties that had been hosting the event for a number of years.
Several IU13 school librarians began talking about creating the competition and, last year, decided to go ahead with the project.
"I put out a flier to see if the students were interested and enough were, so we decided to do it last spring," Solanco librarian Emily Dawley said. "We got the list [of 45 books] in May so the kids could read over the summer."
That proved too challenging for some of the original team members. By the time classes resumed last fall, the team had just half a dozen members.
Those who remained were determined to do well in the contest.
"I heard about it last year. I've always loved reading and I'm competitive, so I thought it would be cool," team member Cheyanne Cutler said.
Team members were allowed to choose the books they wanted to read.
"We split the books about evenly. But it ended up that some of us had to read books no one wanted to read," team captain Hannah Coulter said.
That produced some pleasant surprises.
"I read the Thirteenth Tale by Seterfield. It's a book I wouldn't have picked otherwise but I enjoyed it," team member Mariya Schulhina.
Other times, the book lived up to its expectations.
That was the case for N. Gamin's Neverwhere, a book set in England.
"It was pretty much the way I expected it to be," team member Kim Beacham said. "That book drove me crazy."
Each member prepared a presentation after finishing the book. It included the title, author, main characters, and plot. The reader also came up with potential questions that could be asked about that book.
"We met once or twice a month to go over the books we'd read," Coulter said.
"It was a long list of books, especially for a group as small as ours," team member Chris Natale said.
With the team down to six members, the students resorted to reading synopses for the books they couldn't complete.
"We read a lot of summaries toward the end," Cutler said.
Bethany Tipton also competed with the team.
The experience was a good one and worth repeating.
"I will do it again next year," Schulhina said. "It was a fun experience and we had lots of bonding time."