Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Day the Kids' Lit Quiz came to South-West Sydney

The fourth and final heat of the Kids' Lit Quiz Australia's 2014 competition was held at Mount Annan Christian College on Friday, 21 March.

Twelve very excited school teams of keen readers, representing seven schools from all over Sydney, arrived at Mount Annan for the first-ever Sydney heat of the "sport of reading".

Mt Annan Christian College, Team A

St Patrick's College, Strathfield's two teams

Nicole Deans, Australian Kids' Lit Quiz coordinator was quiz master for the day, in the absence of Wayne Mills, founder and quiz master of the Kids' Lit Quiz over the past 23 years.  Wayne was at his day job in New Zealand, working in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland, and Nicole did a great job in his stead.

Of the twelve teams, only Macarthur Anglican School and Mt Annan Christian College had previously participated in the Quiz so it was a new experience for most of us.  The day did not disappoint as we began our literary adventure with the aptly titled first category, "Adventure". From memory, the first question asked was, "Who were the five children who had the adventure in Mr Wonka's factory?"

With a great deal of excited whispering, the teams worked their way through the various categories: amphibians, cities, famous animals (visual category), foxes, pirates, spiders, transformations, wizards and, finally, the last category, entitled "Finally!"  Ten categories each of ten questions, each referencing books likely to have been read by avid readers aged 10 to 13 years. A literary adventure, indeed!

the girls from Cerdon College, Merrylands chill out during the break

To give you an idea of the range of books and topics covered, here are some of the questions asked (my recollection of the exact question is not accurate but I'm sure you'll get the idea!):

What is the name of the trilogy by author, Cornelia Funke, starting with the title, 'Ink'?
What happened when the Princess kissed the Frog?
What city did King Kong destroy?
What was the name of the pirate leader in 'Peter Pan'?
What book's main characters were a girl, a pig and a spider?
What is the last sentence in a satisfactory fairytale?
In alphabetical order, who is the last dwarf in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'?

Some of the referenced books included:

the Ink trilogy by Cornelia Funke
How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Tuesday by David Wiesner
Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
the Time Riders series by Alex Scarrow
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The Legend of the Sky Pirates by Chris Riddle and Paul Stewart
How to be Invisible by Tim Lott
Discworld by Terry Pratchett

It was a great competition with all teams scoring well. Although the teams finishing first, second and third were clear, it was a close contest with all teams finishing within a few points of each other. The highest score in any round was Broughton College's score of 9 in the last category of 'Finally'.

On the day, Macarthur Anglican School came out the winners, followed closely by St Patrick's College, Strathfield and, in third place, Greystanes Public School.

Macarthur Anglican School

Saint Patrick's College, Strathfield

Greystanes Public School

Jenny  Cranston
NSW Coordinator, Kids' Lit Quiz Australia
Mt Annan Christian College


Enormous thanks to Jenny Cranston and Mount Annan Christian College for hosting both the Sydney heat and the national final.

Thanks to Scholastic Australia for providing book prizes for the Sydney heat. See the book publishers page under the Reading for Australia header for all of the publishers supporting the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz Australia competition.  From this list, you can link through to each publisher's website for lots of information about books and authors - see, in particular, the children's and young adult fiction pages on each site.

Thanks to all the teachers who bought their students along for a day of literary fun and games.

Particular thanks to Softlink for their continuing support of the Kids' Lit Quiz.  As in 2013, Softlink donated the trophy for the winning team in each Australian heat, including Sydney, as well as the trophies for the national final.

Nicole Deans
National Coordinator, Kids' Lit Quiz Australia

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