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.


Once again, I've been awed by the generosity of our guest authors in sharing their creative talent and their love of literature with our audience of readers around the world. Huge thanks to:

Week One: Jackie French, Tania McCartney, Sherryl Clark;

Week Two: Pamela Rushby, Goldie Alexander, Sally Murphy;

Week Three: Barry Jonsberg, Dianne Wolfer, Jess Black;

Week Four: Bruce Pascoe, Josie Montano, Andy Griffiths and Anita Heiss.

I've provided easy links to these guest posts - and those written by our other wonderful guest authors last year - at the top left sidebar, under the Kids' Lit Quiz links. You can also find lists of books recommended by all of our guest authors under the heading, 'Find Great Books', also on the left sidebar.

More thanks

Many (very busy) people have been incredibly generous in helping me put together this festival of reading.  Particular thanks to Wayne Mills, Trevor Darwin, Megan Nelhams, Marj Brown, Isobel Sobey, Nancy Davidson, Tara Steele, Michelle Carter, Gerri Judkins, Julie Huggins, Janine Hudson, Nicky Sulter, Reshma Jethanand, Evelyn Huang and Matthew Barnard.

We would also like to thank the first (of what we hope will be many!) sponsors of the 2014 Australian team:

Canberra Grammar School's junior school community. In particular, Rosalie Reeves for her support and assistance and the junior school's P&F committee for their valued contribution to the travel costs of the team's coach.

The ACT Government for Youth InterACT Scholarship assistance.

Please also see the Sponsors and Book Publishers pages for all sponsors, donors and supporters of  Kids' Lit Quiz Australia. We are very grateful for your support.


Have a look at the widget on the top right sidebar. If you press the "Donate" button it'll take you through to the Chuffed crowd funding platform - you don't have to donate to have a look (but we'll appreciate it if you do!)

Kids' Lit Quiz Australia is raising funds to help the 2014 Australian team get to the world final and assist the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in its work, improving the literacy levels of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

It's a short, 20 day campaign, ending on 30 June, aiming to raise $10,000. We're donating 20% of all funds raised to the ILF. 

Canberra Grammar School has been a long-time supporter of the ILF, through the Great Book Swap, and the boys in the 2014 Australian team nominated the ILF as the cause they would like to assist.

The ILF's mission is based on the belief that "a young child's future educational experiences can be greatly improved through enjoyable and positive engagements with books in both the family and community environments at an early age."

Keen readers know that the best books are always those we can share – if you can, please help us extend the power of literacy as widely as we can - both at the Kids' Lit Quiz World Final and around Australia.


Here are a couple of quotes for you to think about over the next few weeks. I haven't read the books and doubt that they'd be age appropriate even for advanced readers aged 10 to 13. However, these quotes are great at any age! Happy reading over the summer - or winter - or wherever you are!

First, (part of) one of my favourite book dedications, from horror writer, Stephen King's It (1986). The book was dedicated to his children:

Kids, fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists.
and last, a quote from British writer Jeanette Winterson's novel, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal:

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn't be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language - and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers - a language powerful enough to say how it is.

It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place.


  1. My favourite bit (so worth repeating!):

    "That is what literature offers - a language powerful enough to say how it is.

    It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place."

  2. And here are 11 more author quotes (including Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan and Lemony Snicket) you might find interesting:

    Thank you Nancy Davidson, of KLQ Canada, for sharing this link.