Saturday, 28 November 2009

Kids Lit Quiz Final by Marie-Louise Jensen

Apologies for a second post on this topic, but I’d written this before I saw Lucy’s piece. And it was my first Kid’s Lit Quiz event, so I wanted to give my impressions.

I was one of the many authors privileged to attend the final at Oxford town hall yesterday, to watch the final 15 teams battle it out for a place at the Edinburgh world final on the 14th of August.

The rounds of questions were very varied, ranging from mythology to super heroes, to contemporary fiction and back to classics. The teams guessed books from opening lines, pinpointed authors from details about their lives and identified characters from ancient Greek tales. Their knowledge was impressive and what was even more awesome was the speed at which they buzzed and gave their answers – often before my brain had even taken in what the question was. It was wonderful to see such a hall full of knowledgeable, well-read and quick thinking 10-13 year olds.

Each school had been allocated two authors from those present and had been in communication with us with email author questionnaires beforehand. It was exciting to cheer for the school I’d been in touch with (City of London School for Girls in my case) and even more exciting to see them come second and win a place representing England at the final.

The event was brilliantly organised and run by a dedicated team, led by Jacky Atkinson, and we were all treated to tea, rolls and cakes afterwards too –  a chance to meet children, librarians, authors and supporters. All in all, a wonderful afternoon, with a real buzz (forgive the pun) around children’s literature. Congratulations to all the competitors and the organisers.


Katherine Langrish said...

I'd be interested to know the proportion of state schools to private schools? A few years back, the last time I went, there were a lot more private schools, and they generally won, and the local state schools had never heard of the KLQ. I began to feel it was a rather exclusive event that didn't reach out to the state sector, but would be glad to hear if this has changed?

Lindiwe said...

I know it's been three years since this blog was posted but I felt that I had to respond to Katherine's comment.

I'd say that your impressions were generally correct but the state: private school ratio is changing. In fact, in 2011, a state school (Cockermouth School) won the KLQ National final and went on to represent UK in the World Finals. They came third and a state school from South Africa won the world final that year. in 2012, a state school from New Zealand won the world final in Auckland.

Hopefully these victories will help change the perceptions that Kids Lit Quiz is an exclusive event and encourage more state schools to participate.