Reading Bowl Expands Horizons for Developing Youth


Jackson Weems

Julia Mangual, junior, prepares for this year’s Reading Bowl competition by examining “After the Shots Drop,” by Randy Ribay. Compared to previous years, Mangual has challenged herself to read more difficult books in order to broaden her mindset.

Jackson Weems, Staff Writer

Curious and ever-exploring people are drawn to books as if they are a moth and the book is a streetlight shining at two in the morning. The addictive knowledge that readers obtain from their indulgences is matched by nothing else. Reading Bowl is an experience like no other when it comes to the studious effort that the members possess.

Ola’s Reading Bowl team is preparing for the end of the year competition by reading a complex list of books that will be covered by detailed questions. These questions are both fact-based and comprehension questions. Although Reading Bowl sounds simple, it is filled with tedious analyzation and many forms of manipulating texts.

“They [practices] consist of both asking and answering questions about a variety of books we read. With five people on each team we race to answer comprehension questions about the books,” Julia Mangual, junior, said.

With the goal of winning on their minds, the team’s variety of books read throughout the year are selected so that multiple genres are explored. Some genres included on the list are historical fiction, science fiction, memoirs, dystopian society, romance and mystery. Despite reading up to 20 books in one school year, not every question from each book will be covered in a competition. To ensure they are comfortable with the different types of questions, multiple practices are held, allowing the team to retain information from the books they read. Dedication and practice are key in order for the team to take home a win this year.

“At practices, the students answer informational questions about books in an ‘academic bowl’ style of Q & A,” Stacey Caldwell, Media Specialist, said.

Reading has a superior effect on people’s lives. Studies have shown that reading increases levels of empathy, strengthens emotional intelligence, allows a gain of fluency while reading and decreases stress levels. An outcome of the positive effects provided by reading, young teens are able to sustain a healthy lifestyle and establish a connection between the reader and the writer.  

“Reading Bowl has helped me find more books that I like to read, and has helped change my favorite genres,” Mangual, said.

With every page turn, students grow in character and intellect. Encouraging these notions will aid participants in their endless thirst for wisdom that can not be acquired until they find and reach their very own light.