Monday, February 17, 2014

It's our turn, Australia!

Friday Update: ACT Regional Heat

The smallest heat in the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz competition was closely contested with all 8 teams finishing within about 10 points of each other. Congratulations to all participants for a very even and exciting competition.

In first place, Canberra Grammar School's Team 2. Telopea Park High School's Team 3 came second and the team from Canberra Girls Grammar came third. There were fantastic book prizes and lots of high fives for high scores and correct answers to tricky questions. A day of literary fun.

Next up, the 4th and final Australian heat in Sydney on 21 March. The national final will be decided the following day. Schools wishing to participate in the Sydney heat should contact Nicole Deans at for registration information.

2014 ACT regional champions, Canberra Grammar School's Team 2


Wednesday Update:  Orange Regional Heat 

The report on the second heat of the 2014 Australian competition:
Well done to Orange Public School A team for a convincing win at the Orange heat, Kinross Wolaroi School came in second after a sudden death playoff with New Lambton A who came third. A great day was had by all and the results were terrific!

Next, off to Canberra for the ACT regional heat on Friday.

Orange Public School's A team, winners of the 2014 Orange regional heat


Tuesday Update:  Ipswich Regional Heat 

We have our first result in the 2014 Australian competition. Here's the report:

Heat one is over, a great day had by all at Ipswich, well done to Bulimba in first place, Wilston State School in second and Sacred Heart in third. Well done all!

All very excited about the Orange heat tomorrow!
2014 Queensland regional champions, Bulimba State School

Friday, February 14, 2014

Romancing the Stars

A book event for kids, Romancing the Stars, is an appropriate topic for Valentine's Day!  Check it out.

Book Links (QLD) Inc. will hold its annual Romancing the Stars Event at Bulimba State School, Oxford Street, Bulimba on Thursday, February 20 from 5.30 pm (for 6.00pm start).  

Twenty-one leading national and local children’s book creators including Isobelle Carmody, Michael Gerard Bauer, Kate Knapp  and Pamela Rushby will ‘speed date’ small groups of guests sharing insights into their recent publications, upcoming publications and their creative process.  We have 6 new books to launch at the event.  Special guest Rosie Borella is flying in from Melbourne to launch her new book and will be in conversation with Isobelle Carmody.

More Kids' Lit Quiz News

from South Africa.  Australia's turn NEXT week!

Durban Heat

Published in The Witness, 12 February 2014.  Written by Stephen Coan, Photo by Ian Carbutt


 Pietermaritzburg Heat

Published in The Witness, 14 February 2014.  Photo by Jonathan Burton

It's the South African final in Cape Town on Saturday, following the Knysna and Cape Town heats today.   Good luck to all the teams!

The Australian competition starts on Tuesday in Ipswich.  Can't wait!

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's All Happening! Kids' Lit Quiz News

It's been a good, long, hot summer.

Bondi Beach, December 2013

Sand and surf, a drive across the Hay Plains, the discovery of the Alpine Book Trail and lots of hot afternoons spent indoors with the blinds drawn and a few good books to escape the baking sun.  A good, long, hot summer break which ended last week with a return to school and the promise of a new year's opportunities.

It's the year of the horse in the lunar calendar - a lucky year for 12 year olds as it's the first year of the horse they'll remember (you can read more about the lunar calendar in this post I wrote last May).   

Lots of kids competing in the 2014 Kids Lit Quiz are 12 year old Horses and they're certainly lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of the 2014 Quiz since we kicked off in the United Kingdom last October.

The (inaugural) Hong Kong competition was decided in December and the US Quiz was held in January.  Last week, the Canadian national competition was decided and this week is South Africa's turn.  And then, (drum roll, please!), NEXT WEEK, it's time for Aussie kids to participate in "the sport of reading".

Australian Heats

It's still not too late for schools to participate in the Australian leg of the 2014 Quiz. 

If your school is interested, please contact Nicole Deans at kids' as soon as possible.  Registrations can be made up to a week in advance of the relevant heat - which means you need to register this week for the Ipswich, Orange and Canberra heats and have a bit more time if you're interested in the Sydney heat.

The details are:


Tuesday, 18 February, Ipswich
Ipswich Girls Grammar School.  Time: 9.30am – 1pm


Wednesday, 19 February, Orange
Kinross Wolaroi School. Time: 11am – 2pm


Friday, 21 February, Canberra
Canberra Grammar School.  Time: 11am – 2pm


Friday, 21 March, western Sydney
Mount Annan Christian School.  Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm


Saturday, 22 March, western Sydney
Mount Annan Christian School.  Time: 1.30pm- 3.30pm

Even if your school is not competing, you are very welcome to come along to one of the heats to see the Quiz in action if you're curious - you might even win an audience prize!

2014 Quiz Recap

This week, Wayne Mills, founder and quizmaster, is taking South African school children on a literary adventure.  We'll know the winner of the South African competition after the national final in Cape Town on Saturday.  In the meanwhile, good luck to all the teams competing this week in Johannesburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Knysna and Cape Town.

Last week, Wayne was in Canada where everyone had to brave a snow storm and temperatures of  -20 degrees to get to the Canadian final in Toronto.

Teams from Ottawa, Hamilton, Bluewater, Toronto District, Independent and Catholic Schools and two from British Columbia competed in the Canadian competition, with the team from Royal St George's College becoming the first all-boys team to represent Canada.  Congratulations boys!  You'll join the US team, Sedgwick Middle School from Connecticut, the UK national team from the City of London School for Girls and the team from the Kellett School in Hong Kong at the world final in Cornwall, England in July.

The 2014 Canadian national team from Royal St George's College, Toronto

After Australia, it's New Zealand's turn, then Singapore in April (a pilot heat was held last year) before the world final in July.  You can see the full, world-wide timetable here.

Good luck to all the teams!  Regardless of your result, remember Wayne's observations on the importance of reading for pleasure (see the tab under the Reading for Australia header):

Over the 22 or so years I've been running the Kids' Lit Quiz, I've found that the students who get the most out of the Quiz have tended to be those who read widely for pleasure. This happens at every level of the competition from regional heats to the world final - whether or not their team goes on to the next level.

Those of us involved with the Quiz measure its success by the number of kids whose love of reading is enhanced and extended by their participation.

Only one team from each heat can win and, as in all sport, an element of luck as well as knowledge and an ability to perform in competition conditions determines the winning team. However, over the years, I've talked to many, many children after each competition who go home curious and excited about new books and wanting to re-read others mentioned in the course of the competition - regardless of their team's result on the day. Any disappointment is soon replaced by an eagerness to discover new books to read. These are the children who read for pleasure.