Friday, June 13, 2014

Festival Wrap - May 2014

We now have our New Zealand national team - Congratulations to Awakeri School, a school with a strong Kids' Lit Quiz pedigree, with its 2012 team winning the world final in that year.

The 2014 New Zealand national team

It is not long until the 2014 World Final in Cornwall. Congratulations to all of the national teams:

Australia: Canberra Grammar School
Canada: Royal St George's College, Toronto
New Zealand: Awakeri School
South Africa - St John's Preparatory School, Johannesburg
Singapore - Clementi Primary School
UK - City of London School for Girls
USA  - Sedgwick Middle School, Connecticut

We are confident that you will all be wonderful ambassadors for your schools and countries in 2014. Good luck to you all (but a little extra luck to the Australian team - with love from your families and friends!)

And with that news, it is time to thank everyone for taking part, helping out and, most of all, reading with us over the last few weeks.

We'll take a break for a couple of weeks before the 2014 World Final. I'll still be checking my emails so feel free to write in with comments, book reviews, donations (!!) and other book-related items of interest. The address is:

After the jump, there's also some information about our fundraiser which not only helps the Australian team get to the world final but also raises funds for some of Australia's most disadvantaged children.

While we think it is important to celebrate our top readers, we - and the top readers themselves - also want to use this opportunity to focus attention on one of Australia's more critical literacy needs - those children who do not have access to literacy resources that many of us take for granted.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review - The Boundless

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins Canada, 2014)

by R.J., Toronto

Friday, June 06, 2014

How to find posts that interest you

The last guest author's post was published on Monday to complete this online literary festival -  42 posts altogether and a baker's dozen of brilliant guest authors. That's a lot of good writing - which mention, discuss and feature lots of books, also raising lots of interesting ideas for us to think about and consider. 

To make it easier to find posts you find interesting, I've listed all the featured guest posts here with brief descriptions of the topics covered:

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Cornwall 2014

There's an exciting program in store for the national teams participating in the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final in Cornwall, England in July.

Not only do they get to "talk books " with each other over the week of the world final but there's also the stunning coastline, the lush landscape and the rich history of Cornwall to absorb in this short time. It's a hard job but someone's got to do it - I expect that, as their country's top readers, they'll be up to the task. Good luck teams!

Pendennis Castle (photo credit)

From Pendennis Castle, the Tudor fortress built by Henry VIII to help protect England from his many European enemies, to the gardens of Glendurgan, with its intriguing maze, the teams will have a wonderful opportunity to explore treasured Cornish landmarks as part of their world final experience.

The 175 year old cherry laurel maze at Glendurgan

You'll find some more of the highlights of the 2014 Kids' Lit Quiz world final program after the jump:

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Tena Koutou Katoa! New Zealand Update

Greetings from Aotearoa, New Zealand, the original home of the Kids’ Lit Quiz.

Particular greetings from Hamilton, the city where the very first quiz was held 23 years ago. It was a small affair, with the questions written by the Waikato Children’s Literature Association, of which Wayne Mills was a member.

Never, in our wildest dreams, did any of our members envisage the Quiz would become the global phenomenon that it is today and, in New Zealand, the Kids’ Lit Quiz is now such an integral part of the “reading calendar” it is hard to imagine life without it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Looking for a Book to Read?

Writers are almost always readers first, so we ask our guest authors to tell us the titles of books they enjoyed as children as well as any books they've read recently which they'd recommend to other readers.

Previously, we've complied these into lists - here are last year's recommendations from May and November. This time, we thought it might be interesting to show you what the authors actually said about their book recommendations. Once again, Enid Blyton featured strongly. A prolific author, she clearly influenced generations of kids - some of whom grew up to also write children's books.

New York Public Library

Have a look at what last month's guest authors have to say about the books that influenced them and books they recommend as good reads.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Conversations about Australian Identity by Anita Heiss

This is an edited version of Anita’s speech at the recent Australian Booksellers Association conference dinner in Melbourne. The original speech, on the topic Anita was given – It all starts with a conversation – can be read on Anita’s blog, here.

I’m from the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. My mob’s from Cowra, Brungle mission, Griffith, Tumut and Canberra. I was born in Gadigal country, most of you will know that as the city of Sydney, and I’ve grown up on the land of the Dharawal people near La Perouse.

My home suburb is strategically placed between Long Bay Jail, Malabar Sewerage Works and Orica Industrial estate. It’s the perfect setting for creative inspiration and I’ve written many of my books there. I’m pleased to be here in the home of the Kulin nation and pay my respects to those whose stories have been embedded in this landscape for tens of thousands of years.

It’s every author’s dream to be able to address the ABA dinner because we know that without you booksellers, the books we have devoted our hearts, minds, sleeping and waking hours to, go nowhere.

I have been connected to booksellers around Australia for almost two decades as a writer but also as a reader, and I have learned much about the industry from those who have generously and quite simply just talked to me. So I am grateful for the opportunity to be here to talk about how conversations have played a role in the development, not only of my books, but also my life as a writer and my role as an Indigenous Literacy Day and Books in Homes Ambassador.