Sunday, October 11, 2015

Kids Lit Quiz Australia 2016

The 2016 program is now out! Here's the announcement from Kids' Lit Quiz Australia's Facebook page:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

100 Teams try Kids’ Lit Quiz Canada in 2015!

Kids’ Lit Quiz Canada has had another year of growth!

From our humble beginnings of 13 teams in 2011, reaching 100 teams in our fifth year was a huge milestone! For more information on how we got from there to here, see last year's review here.

Once again, we were thrilled to have excellent author participation in 2015. Many thanks to the Quizzards of Oz, Team Hirsute, The Inkslingers, Awesome Authors and Write Again - our intrepid author teams! Their names are listed at the end of this post, together with links to their websites.

It is wonderful for our KLQ readers to be in such fine company! Readers meet writers and writers meet their fans. I wonder how many KLQers will be inspired to become authors themselves?

Some of the fun at the 2015 Canadian heats

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Letter from South Africa: A Parent's Joyful Discovery

Today's post is a letter from Jo-Ann, a South African mother of a Lit Quiz Kid to Wayne Mills, the founder and quiz-master of the Kids' Lit Quiz. 

Jo-Ann's first experience of the Kids' Lit Quiz captures the joyful discovery that many parents have had revealed to them through the Kids' Lit Quiz; the unexpected pleasure that comes with understanding what makes a Kids' Lit Quiz reader. 

Our thanks to Jo-Ann for her permission to to publish her letter here. I've edited it slightly to protect the privacy of Jo-Ann and her daughter.

To read more about the 2015 South African KLQ competition, see Marj Brown's report at the end of Jo-Ann's letter. You can also read an Australian educator's perspective on the benefits of the Kids' Lit Quiz, in Janine Hudson's piece, Hooked on Reading, in this postFinally, there's more "fan mail" from young readers who have enjoyed the Quiz as well as from authors, educators and other amazed parents at this link.

But, first, here's Jo-Ann's  letter.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

South Africa, 22 July 2015

Dear Prof Mills,

I know that you have many good books to read and questions to compose but I hope that you will have some time for this lengthy letter of thanks. I have delayed sending it so that it won’t seem like the manic mutterings of a recent Kids' Lit Quiz convert. However, even after a respectable wait following the South African final, I find that I am still completely enthused by our experience.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 in review by Wayne Mills

In July, following the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz world final in Connecticut, I asked Wayne Mills how he felt the year, and particularly, the World Final had gone. Here's Wayne's response which I've (finally!) edited to add links, photos and other information to complement Wayne's overview of the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz World Final.

Quizmaster Wayne Mills at the International Dinner following the Kids' Lit Quiz world final, 8 July 2015.

Hi Linda,

Sorry, I've been hiding away, holidaying in Pong Dang in the north of Thailand so I've been very quiet with my correspondence. It's been very hot but each afternoon is quenched or drenched with  spectacular electrical storms which leave plenty of time for reading (of course!) but also for contemplating the year just passed and for planning next year's program.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lit Quiz Kids in the News

With the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz world final just around the corner, on 8 July 2015, the national teams are on their way to Connecticut, USA.

Click to enlarge

What a wonderful adventure they have in store, a timely reminder of the many opportunities that reading brings.  As readers, we always get to travel in our imaginations - even while we have to stay put - but for the kids in the world final teams, their love of reading has also provided this real-life travel opportunity (although, admittedly, the US team doesn't have far to travel this year!)

Here's a wish to all the teams, from Dr Seuss' Oh! the Places You'll Go:

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away! 

After the jump there's an update on who's who at the 2015 world final with links to the news that Lit Quiz kids have been making all around the world:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kids Lit Quiz Australia: 2015 in review

This has been an exciting year for the Kids' Lit Quiz around the world and the 2015 Australian Quiz was no exception, bringing the "sport of reading" to even more Australian schools.  

For all our friends in the international Kids' Lit Quiz community and everyone at Reading for Australia, here's National Coordinator, Nicole Deans' review of this year's competition, a true celebration of good books and great readers.  

Thanks also to Queensland coordinator, Jenny Stubbs, for her photos and comments and to Wayne Mills, quizmaster and founder of the Kids' Lit Quiz (in New Zealand, 24 years ago) for his additional comments and observations. These have been added to Nicole's report, together with links to other related posts and resources.

The 2015 Australian team with Nicole Deans, Wayne Mills and their coach

Congratulations to the team from Orange High School, the 2015 national champions. Our first all-girl national team will now represent Australia at the world final in New Britain, Connecticut, USA in July.

With its purpose of encouraging and celebrating literacy in children aged 10 to 13 years, Kids' Lit Quiz Australia is delighted with its growth in 2015. It has been enormously satisfying to see so many children enjoy the benefits of reading while discovering an international community of like-minded readers.

From humble beginnings in 2012, with the one heat/final in Orange involving 13 teams and a handful of schools, Kids' Lit Quiz Australia has grown to 5 heats, 96 teams, 56 schools and 384 keen readers in 2015. As Wayne Mills says, "We were all delighted with the 39% increase in teams participating across the Australian competition of the Kids' Lit Quiz."

The enthusiasm shown by both the teams and their teachers/coaches shows the value the Kids' Lit Quiz adds to literacy programs in schools. With its focus on reading widely for pleasure by giving kids an open choice of reading matter and the opportunity for teamwork, the Kids' Lit Quiz offers a unique and fun way for schools to build literacy in their communities.

Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors, donors, supporters, hosts, authors and school communities without whom none of this would have been possible. We hope the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia was an enjoyable experience for you too and that you all come back next year for more literary fun and games.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Orange is the new black!

Or, if not the new black, then, even better, the new reading capital of Australia.

A team from Orange High School took on the mantle of national champions at the Australian Final of the Kids' Lit Quiz in Sydney last Saturday, succeeding the 2014 team from the nation's capital, Canberra Grammar School.

The 2015 Australian team from Orange High School

Reinforcing the depth of Orange's reading talent, a team from Orange Primary School placed second while a team from Kambala School, Sydney - competing in the Kids' Lit Quiz for the first time - placed third. Congratulations to these teams and to the other finalists, Canberra Grammar School (ACT), Kambala School's other team (Sydney), Anglican Church Grammar School (Brisbane) and Ambrose Treacy College (Ipswich). Well done all!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Life of Pi

Today, 14 March (3/14), is Pi Day,  a day that maths is celebrated around the world. As the official Pi Day site says,

"Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159."

Lots of readers like maths as well as books and maths is important too - readers don't need to choose between two. Just as reading and literacy needs to be celebrated, so too does maths and numeracy.

(2001, Knopf Canada)

But, if like me, "pi" makes you think of the excellent book, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel before you think of 3.14 and other numbers then you can recognise Pi Day by reading!  Being greedy, "pi" also reminds me of "pies"; have a look at this guest post by Goldie Alexander on food in children's literature  and this one on my bookshelf for more book ideas.

If you're in Sydney today, you could also celebrate Pi Day by attending the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia national final at the Monkey Baa Theatre Company's Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre in Darling Harbour. The Final starts at 1 pm and entry is free. See this guest post by Daria O'Neill for more details.

However it is that you recognise Pi Day, whether it be by doing some maths, reading some books or eating some pies, I hope it is a good one for you.  Good luck to all the teams competing today in the 2015 Australian Final.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Terry Pratchett. The End.

"Stories of the imagination tend to upset those without"

The literary world was saddened today to learn of Terry Pratchett's death at the age of 66. Sir Terry suffered from a rare form of Alzheimer's Disease.

Just two days ago, at the ACT heat of the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz, Wayne Mills told the audience that, if they were going to read one author before attending a KLQ event, they wouldn't go wrong if that author was Terry Pratchett, one of the world's best fantasy writers. 

If you haven't read any Terry Pratchett books, this is the favourite of one 13 year old fan known to me. (2003, Transworld Publishing). He also recommended Mort (1987).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

More Progress! Report 2

We are belting along! With the ACT heat decided yesterday, there's now only the Sydney heat tomorrow before the National Final on Saturday.

We had a record number of teams participating in the ACT yesterday
Quiz master Wayne Mills testing the ACT's best readers with questions from the 2014 world Final 

See who will represent the ACT in Sydney on Saturday after the jump. There are also some fantastic photos, taken by William Hall, which speak thousands of words in describing the fun and excitement of the "sport of reading".

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Progress report: 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia

With the Ipswich, Brisbane and Orange heats done and dusted, we are already well on our way to finding the 2015 Australian team to compete at the World Final in Connecticut, USA in July.

We've now got only the ACT heat tomorrow and the Sydney heat on Friday before the national final on Saturday. Good luck to all the teams registered for these two heats!

And here are the results from the first three heats:


"A fantastic heat today at Ipswich! First Place Ambrose Treacy College, 2nd Place St Aidan's Anglican Girls School 1, 3rd Place Pullenvale State School 2. A great start to the Australian Competition. Good luck to Ambrose Treacy College in the National Final. Brisbane Heat tomorrow. Good luck to all the teams taking part. "

The winning team from Ambrose Treacy College with quizmaster, Wayne Mills


"A very close heat today with just .5 between first and second place! Thanks to Bulimba State School for a wonderful venue and great hospitality. 1st Place Anglican Church Grammar 1, 2nd Citipoint Christian College Team 1 and 3rd The Gap State High School. Well done to all 18 teams that took part. Next heat is Orange, NSW on Tuesday 10th March. "

The winning team from Anglican Church Grammar with Wayne Mills


"A great heat in Orange today. 23 teams with four new schools taking part for the first time. Our winners were Orange High School, Orange Public School A in second and Kinross Wolaroi School Secondary in third. Off to Canberra for the heat tomorrow."

Third Place: Kinross Wolaroi School

Second Place: Orange Public School

First Place: Orange High School

Thursday, March 05, 2015

It's our turn, Australia!

The 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia competition kicks off today in Ipswich.

Good luck to all the teams! Chances are that you'll win a book prize or two, discover even more books to read, meet like-minded kids and have a great deal of fun with the "sport of reading".

Of course, none of this would be possible without our wonderful sponsors and supporters.

In Australia, as throughout the world, the Kids' Lit Quiz is a not-for-profit association. There are no paid employees - from founder and quiz master, Wayne Mills, to the national coordinators, the state coordinators, adjudicators and committee members, everyone's a volunteer, doing what they do because they believe literacy needs to be both encouraged and celebrated.

So far, in the four years the Kids' Lit Quiz has operated in Australia, we're still looking for major sponsors and our only income is the registration fee paid by each competing team. On this shoe-string budget, it would be extremely difficult to put on each year's competition without the generous support of our sponsors and donors so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank them all sincerely. We couldn't do it without you!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Introducing Monkey Baa by Daria O'Neill

The National Final of the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia competition is to be held at the Monkey Baa Theatre Company's Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre in Darling Harbour, Sydney on Saturday 14 March. 

Kids' Lit Quiz Australia is delighted to be associated with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company because both organisations are passionate about children's literature. Today's guest post by Monkey Baa's Development Manager, Daria O'Neill, outlines the effective and entertaining ways that Monkey Baa connects with young audiences throughout Australia.

Why not go along to see the National Final? Entry to see some of Australia's best readers compete for the right to represent Australia at the World Final, in Connecticut, USA in July 2015, is FREE! And it's a lot of fun. There are audience prizes (books, of course!), loads of interesting information about books you've already read and books you've yet to meet and an opportunity to see the sport of reading in action! 

It's also not too late to enter the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz! The heats start in Ipswich on 5 March - mere days away - so schools in and around Ipswich, Brisbane, Orange, Canberra and Sydney should contact Nicole Deans ( IMMEDIATELY if they are interested in participating in the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz. 

Now, let's learn a bit about the wonderful work that Monkey Baa does for Australian children...

Monkey Baa Theatre Company was established in 1997 to create captivating, vibrant and relevant theatre experiences for young people, their educators and families.

The Pete boys read Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and Bruce Whateley

Our co-Founders and Creative Directors, Sandra Eldridge, Tim McGarry and Eva Di Cesare, have since adapted fourteen classic Australian stories for the stage – from The Bugalugs Bum Thief to Hitler’s Daughter to Pete the Sheep – winning awards, critical acclaim and inclusion on the NSW Board of Studies, and consolidating our reputation as a theatre of excellence, producing work solely for young audiences (aged 3-18 years).

Based on the book by Tim Winton, you can see Monkey Baa's production of The Bugalugs Bum Thief in Sydney in April 2015 and later on tour in other parts of Australia. Click on the link for show details.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

South African News

On Saturday, a team from Manor Gardens Primary School in Durban won the 2015 South African Kids' Lit Quiz decisively and, with the school's strong pedigree in the Kids' Lit Quiz, appear to be early favourites for the world title.

In 2011, a Manor Gardens team won the world title by the biggest margin in Kids' Lit Quiz's 24 year history and, in 2015, two teams from the school competed at the National Final. Clearly a school with a strong commitment to literacy, Manor Gardens kids have also provided many of the book reviews for Reading for Australia - have a look at the left sidebar for all books recommended by keen readers.

The 2015 South African team from Manor Gardens Primary School

Best of all, Manor Gardens is a state school, showing that literary excellence as well as success at the Kids' Lit Quiz is not only for "rich kids" from private schools. As South African national coordinator, Marj Brown says,

“The quiz has state and independent schools. The difference between these can sometimes be devastating: some schools don’t even have libraries. But as a state school, Manor Gardens’ achievement shows that wonderful things can come from well run state schools.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

That's what we'd say in Hong Kong where the local dialect is Cantonese or, as they say in Mandarin, Gong Xi Fa Cai!  They're both wishes for a prosperous new year. Happy New Year everyone!

The lunar new year display in the Elements shopping centre in Hong Kong

It's the year of the sheep (or if you prefer, the ram or goat) in the Chinese zodiac, starting on 19 February and ending on 7 February 2016.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy International Book Giving Day!

Fiona Roberton's poster celebrates both books and Valentine's Day!

 What are you doing to celebrate?

Have a look here to see what's happening around the world and here's one local story, the Itty Bitty Book Van, Australia's only travelling children's bookshop, is visiting kindergartens in Geelong.

There are lots more celebrations of books everywhere. See what's going on near you!

See more here

The aim of International Book Giving Day is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. Definitely something we should support and celebrate!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Not Long Now! 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia

With the UK, US and Canadian competitions already decided and South Africa's about to begin, the 2015 Australian Kids' Lit Quiz is less than a month away!

The Australian team at the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final in Falmouth, Cornwall in July


Schools in and around Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Ipswich and Orange should contact Nicole Deans (at to register their best readers for the upcoming "sport of reading" tournament. It's a great way to promote literacy in school communities and to celebrate and reward good readers.

The team (of 4 readers aged between 10 and 13 years) which wins the Australian final (to be held at Monkey Baa's fabulous Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre in Darling Harbour, Sydney on Saturday, 14 March) is invited to the 2015 World Final, to be held in beautiful Connecticut, USA in July.

Click on the links to find out more about:

the 2015 Australian competition,
how the Kids' Lit Quiz promotes literacy in schools,
what previous participants and educators say about their Kids' Lit Quiz experiences,
Stripes and Stars: 2014 Queensland heat
Kings and Queens, Insects and Mice: 2014 NSW regional heat (Orange)
Cannibalism and other stories: 2014 ACT heat
The day the Kids' Lit Quiz came to south-west Sydney: 2014 Sydney heat
2014 Australian Final 

After the jump there's more information about what's been happening around the world in the 2015 Kids' Lit Quiz - great books are being read everywhere!