Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lucky by Nicole Deans

Lucky, that's how I feel about my involvement in the Kids' Lit Quiz.

I have always loved reading and even more than that I have always loved sharing stories with children, so it sort of made sense that I started work firstly as a teacher and now as a Teacher Librarian.  I became the National Coordinator (Australia) for the Kids' Lit Quiz in 2011 and haven't looked back since!

I don’t remember ever not loving books and, for me, it was ‘my thing.'  I was never a sports person, and although I loved music and singing I was always in the chorus, never in the leading role. As for school work, I was a good solid worker, but certainly never an award winner.

When I started teaching and now as a Teacher Librarian I would, from time to time, come across a kid a bit like I had been and I would feel a twinge of disappointment that, apart from reading more and better books, there was no way to acknowledge those kids for whom reading was 'their thing.'

Then I stumbled across an article that talked about this Quiz called ‘The Sport of Reading’.

It ticked all the boxes for me.

There was no reading list so children couldn’t cram, they had to have a love of reading and it encouraged children to step outside their comfort zone and explore a range of genres and types. It got kids working together in a team where the combined knowledge of all the team members was what counted.

The questions covered a whole range of topics to do with books and reading that allowed both knowledge to be displayed and curiosity to be piqued.  It allowed the kids to compete and show off their knowledge while at the same time being with other kids who had something great in common – books and reading!! And, more than anything else, it looked like such FUN!

So, with little more than enthusiasm for what I had read, I ventured to New Zealand where I attended the 2011 World Final and joined the wonderful world wide family that is the Kids’ Lit Quiz. After just one week, I knew I had to bring Kids’ Lit Quiz to Australia and, in 2012, we started with Wayne Mills coming to Orange in the central west of NSW to run our very first heat with just 13 teams.

What a wonderful time we had!

2013 bought growth as more teachers and children caught the Kids’ Lit Quiz Australia bug and we grew to three heats involving 49 teams in three states. Our first national final in the nation's capital involved six teams from NSW, Queensland and the ACT, competing for the chance to be our National Champions and represent Australia in South Africa. What better way is there for celebrating and rewarding reading!

With the 2013 World Final less than a month away, it won't be long before we will start organising Kids' Lit Quiz 2014 in Australia.  

At this stage, we plan to have three regional heats and a final in 2014, with plans for more heats in the future.  The Australian competition (heats and final) will be held from 18 to 21 February 2014.  For more information about Kids' Lit Quiz, how to enter or about expressing an interest in coordinating a heat in the future, please contact me at

Our dream is to involve enthusiastic readers from all over Australia in the sport of reading!

With support, we can keep growing and include more and more kids throughout Australia so that we can send our very best teams to the corners of the earth for the World Final into the future.

I feel so lucky that the Kids' Lit Quiz has become part of my life and, through it,  I get to share my love of reading with so many like-minded souls.

About the Author

Nicole Deans is the National Coordinator (Australia) for the Kids Lit Quiz. 

I am a Teacher Librarian at Kinross Wolaroi School in Orange and have worked in schools and libraries of all types for the last 20 years or so.  I started my teaching career as an 'Itinerant Governess' out around Bourke in NSW. 

I have always been a great 'consumer' of books and love all types, but especially children's literature and our great Australian authors. Involvement in Kids' Lit Quiz has lead me to discover even more great authors! 

As a child one book I remember loving was a story called Callie's Castle by Ruth Park, how I dreamed of having my own little place to escape to! I also loved the Muddle Headed Wombat and as I got older the beautiful series The Harp in the South.  I certainly had developed a thing for Ruth Park! I then travelled the world, time and space in books with the Narnia series, and loved Laura in Little House on the Prairie. Every time I stop to think more books come to mind and one of my great joys is finding old friends again and getting lost again in the world I remember so fondly.  

Just as much, I love the adventure of new friends (books) and have recently enjoyed Wonder by R J Palacio, The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi, Brainjack by Brian Falkner, Eric Vale - Epic Fail by Michael Gerard Bauer, Maddie West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner and the list could just go on and on!

1 comment:

  1. I feel lucky too. I met Nicole at a conference and she told me about KLQ. Now I consider her one of my friends. Kids'Lit Quiz is like that - making new friends through books. Like Nicole KLQ has been an amazing experience. I am a Teacher Librarian too and my passion is literature. I teach boys and I love to prove everyone wrong - that boys don't read. There is nothing better than hearing from a student that they loved a book you recommended and is there another one like it. For the second year in a row I am taking a team of boys to the World Final. Go "Team Australia".