Thursday, May 08, 2014

Team Australia 2014: Canberra Grammar School

Introducing the 2014 Australian team from Canberra Grammar School:  

Jesse, Leo, Angus, Nick and Mrs Hudson with Wayne Mills at the 2014 ACT regional heat

Angus, 11, Year 6  

Sometimes when I read, I'm so hooked that I can't put the book down! (Even if it means not paying attention in class!) When I'm not attached to a book I enjoy gaming, orienteering and eating chocolate but my biggest passion is for wildlife and I love David Attenborough.  Some of my favourite books are; The one and only Ivan, Wolf Brother, The Inheritance Cycle Series and Sherlock Holmes novels. I can't wait to get to Cornwall and Lit Quiz 2014!  

Jesse, 12, Year 7 

Hi! I'm Jesse or Jester. I was born in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. I have always loved to read and I really enjoy cricket and soccer. The first novel I read was The Hobbit and, even though I didn't understand all of it at the time, I loved it so much that I have continued reading ever since. In 2009, my family and I went on a posting to Brussels, Belgium where I discovered Tintin! One of my favourite books is BZRK by Michael Grant.  

Nick, 12, Year 7  

I really like reading - obviously! Because I love reading so much I also have a passion for writing my own stories. I also love drawing. When I grow up I would like to be an author. My favourite books are the Chaos Walking series and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. My favourite movie is Spud which was adapted from John Van de Ruit's novel of the same name.  

Leo, 12, Year 7  

I'm Nick's older twin brother (key word, 'older'). My other interests, apart from reading include, soccer, chess, writing stories and video games. My favourite books are; Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, After by Morris Gleitzman and the Gone series by Michael Grant. My favourite movies adapted from books are; Lord of the Rings, The Help and The Hunger Games. I'm looking forward to the World Final in Cornwall and meeting all the other teams. 

Mrs H, Coach

I have been a Teacher Librarian at Canberra Grammar School since 2009 and became involved in KLQ in 2011. I have a passion for literature and inspiring children to read. My favourite children's author is Michael Morpurgo. I love chocolate and elephants, but not necessarily together!

KLQ at CGS by Janine Hudson

Our KLQ journey at CGS started a few years ago when I bumped into Nicole Deans at a conference in Sydney. I read the flyer she gave me, but as KLQ was new to Australia, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into...


We selected two teams for our school and they were very excited to be travelling to the Heat/Final in Orange, NSW. We had booked the bus and our accommodation, ready for our big adventure.  

Then, the rain came and came and came! We were unable to get through the flooded roads.  

The boys were devastated! Plan B swung in to action and we ended up Skyping in from our Library, after having a sleepover and pizza amongst the books. It was a very close competition and, as we couldn’t see the score board, had no idea until right at the end that one of the CGS teams had won by half a point.  

Off to Auckland we went – Nick, Leo, James and Robin. We had a wonderful week meeting other book lovers and exploring Auckland.


Last year, we hosted the ACT heat and the Australian final at Canberra Grammar School, so no problems with road closures!  

Two teams from the ACT heat progressed to the Australian Final including one CGS team which only just scraped in - the last team to qualify. I was floored when they did it again! Off to Durban for the World Final - Nick, Leo and James R again with new team member, James P.  

By this time, I think we were all blown away with the places reading could take us. Catching up with old friends and making new connections was only part of our African Adventure.


This year, the competition across Australia had expanded further than any of us has expected in only three short years, with 69 teams competing in four heats. The ACT heat was very tightly contested but, once again, CGS made it to the National Final

We had heard rumours of the strength of the other teams and were set for a very tight competition, but, this year, the boys had their most convincing win. So, Nick and Leo are off to their third World Final with new team members, Jesse and Angus. 

Who would have thought that a chance meeting with Nicole could have lead to these wonderful experiences! 

Hooked on Reading

Although our school has been very successful in making it to the World Final for three years, we all consider the real success to be the reading adventures we've taken together and we've enjoyed every level of the KLQ competition we've been lucky enough to experience. 

For me, the pure joy on the faces of all of the teams, regardless of their result, is just priceless. Finally, these children have a forum where they can celebrate and share their passion – the love of reading.  

At a world final, there is something special about watching children who have known each other for only a few days curling up on a couch reading or their delight when a book shop is opened – just for them. At regional heats, there is the excitement when a team wins their round and get to choose a new book and, even at try-outs for the school teams, there's a buzz around the school as eager boys vie for a chance to be involved in the sport of reading. 

As the mum of a very keen Kids’ Lit Quizzer, I see Gemma's enthusiasm as she joins her friends in a competition about reading. She has loved participating in KLQ so much she wants to mentor teams in the future. 

As Vice President of KLQ Australia, I see the drive and commitment of Nicole Deans (Australian National Coordinator) who gives so much of her time to build KLQ Australia while I also have the opportunity to talk books with the other teams and coaches who are adamant they will be back next year! 

Once the KLQ bug bites – you’re hooked.

L - R: Jesse, Wayne, Nick, Leo Mrs H, Angus after the 2014 Australian National Final

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