Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cornwall 2014: Kids' Lit Quiz World Final

It's been a while...

When I wrote my last post over a month ago (on Friday the 13th - in hindsight, an obviously inauspicious date), I did intend to report on the Kids' Lit Quiz world final on 8 July. However, extensive travel over the last month, with often dodgy internet connections and long summery days filled with other happenings, quickly put paid to my good intentions.

I hope that no one has been anxiously waiting for Kids' Lit Quiz news over this last month. But if you have, then wait no longer! Here, at last, is my report on the 2014 World Final in Falmouth, Cornwall earlier this month.

The 2014 World Champion team from the City of London School for Girls

Congratulations to the UK national team from the City of London School for Girls, the 2014 World Champions. 

The UK team's steady progress in the first half combined with its stellar performance in round 9 (Book Titles) saw the team, third at the half time break, move past South Africa to be 3 points behind first placed Australia at the start of the 10th and final round. You can read CLSG's report on the world final here.

Runners up, Team Australia from Canberra Grammar School

At the end, the Australian team placed second by a heartbreaking two points (one correct question). After leading for the entire competition and taking a convincing 7 point lead into the 9th round, Australia was pipped at the post by Team UK's strong finish. Have a look at the Australian coach's review of the world final, here.

It was a nail-biting, heart pounding competition. As with all sport, luck goes hand-in-hand with skill and knowledge. The Australian team was lucky that the round 6 topic, Mythical Creatures, was an area of expertise and less fortunate with the last topic, Toys in Books, which was their least successful round. All of the national teams were worthy contenders and, while the Australian team worked well together, it needed (but did not find) just a little more luck to maintain a start-to-finish lead against competitors of this calibre.

Third Place, Team New Zealand from Awakeri School

New Zealand performed well in round 8 (Nursery Rhymes) to take third place after trailing early in the competition.You can find Awakeri School's account of its' team's world final experience on its Facebook page.

After congratulations and commiserations were widely dispensed, everyone seemed to quickly pick up their previous conversations (mostly about books, of course) and it was on to the Gala Dinner and the other entertainments of the week. As is the Kids' Lit Quiz way, the kids (from every team) bonded over their mutual love of books and, at the week's end, email addresses were exchanged and plans made to keep in touch.

We are enormously proud of our team and congratulate all the national teams on their performances too. As author Tim Bowler said at the World Final, we acknowledge and celebrate your reading skills and, regardless of your results on the day, in our eyes you are all winners because you are readers.

For more information on the 2014 world final, please also see:

The Canadian team's blog;
Kids' Lit Quiz Canada's Facebook page; and
Kids' Lit Quiz South Africa's Facebook page.

The week in Cornwall was the prize for each national team and it was jam-packed with activities designed to interest and excite these young readers.  Have a look at the links provided above and you'll see how much the children enjoyed the thoughtfully constructed program Cornwall 2014 provided. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the achievement of some of the world's best readers.

Huge thanks to the UK national coordinator, Jacky Atkinson, the UK Kids' Lit Quiz committee and the Cornwall committee (especially Megan and Katherine whose warm welcome and care was appreciated by everyone) for putting together such a wonderful program and then hosting and organising the large contingent throughout the week.

Also, many thanks to everyone who supported Kids' Lit Quiz Australia's fundraiser for the Australian team and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Our principal sponsors' logos are at the top right sidebar and all sponsors, supporters and donors are listed on the Sponsors page. Thank you all.

In other Kids' Lit Quiz news, quiz master Wayne Mills has some exciting plans for the international Kids' Lit Quiz competition now that he has retired from the University of Auckland where he was a senior lecturer in Education. See here for details.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in traditional Chinese characters (Scholastic)

Looking for a book to read?

Finally,  if you're looking for something to read, here are some of the books we brought home with us. (Don't you bring back 15 kilos of books when you travel?!)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (in traditional Chinese characters), purchased from the rather wonderful Eslite book store in Taipei which is open 24 hours a day. We visited at about 10 pm and it was packed with book lovers. It has a great selection of English and Chinese books as well as books in other languages, including a large Japanese section.

The Midnight Picnic by Lauren St John (Orion, 2014)

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Scholastic, 2014)

The Puppet Boy of Warsaw by Eva Weaver  (Phoenix, 2013). This book was purchased from a news agency at Frankfurt International Airport on our way home. Did you know that the Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's biggest trade fair for books ?

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks (St Martin's Griffin 2012). Signed by the author, our copy was a gift from the US team at the World Final. Thank you!

People's Republic (CHERUB series) by Robert Muchamore (Hodder, 2011)

Skulduggery Pleasant, Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy (HarperCollins, 2014). The latest in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, this copy was purchased at Heathrow Airport after the World Final.

Far Rock Away by Charlie Fletcher (Hodder, 2013)

Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley (Bloomsbury, 2011)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Di Camillo (Candlewick Press, 2006)

The Wishbird by Gabrielle Wang (Puffin, 2013)

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (Doubleday, 2013)

Happy reading, everyone!

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