Tuesday, 18 November 2014

FUN with books and reading - it's the Kids' Lit Quiz - Linda Strachan

Every year around this time New Zealand Quizmaster the inexhaustible Wayne Mills arrives for the start of the UK heats of the Kids' Lit Quiz  - and he runs an amazing 18 heats in under 4 weeks.  The first heat this year was a new one in East Midlands, and today it will be the turn of the 8th UK heat at Yorkshire's King James School, Knaresborough.

KLQ Quizmaster Wayne Mills awarded
 Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit 
KLQ is a competition for children aged 10-13 with ten rounds of questions each with a different theme and a opportunity for the teams to choose one round as their joker (double points)  all the questions are book related and vary in difficulty.

Wayne writes all the questions himself, and when you consider there are 100 questions in each heat, it is quite a feat, as he never asks a question unless he has read the book!

In school teams of four and a max of two teams per school, they compete against other schools in their region. I am always amazed by what the teams can answer and having been on an author team myself many times, it can be taxing.  

I think the young competitors often surprise themselves by what they know, but most of all they have a great time.  I love having the chance to chat to the teams before it starts and during the break, when the competitors have a chance to buy books and come to get them signed by the authors who attend the quiz.

Wayne offers spot prizes for teams or for individual competitors, and there are also longer questions in between rounds, sometimes taken from the more difficult World Final questions of the year before.

The teams are often very close in points and it is hard to describe the level of enthusiasm for the quiz and the excitement in the room.  Teams of authors, teachers and librarians often compete for the fun of it, and it can become quite competitive!
Winning team at  KLQ NE - Hexham Middle School A 
This year I have been on two author teams, in Newcastle NE England heat which was once again organised by Trevor and Diane.
With fellow Author's team member Lucy Coats

Lucy Coats and I seconded the very knowledgeable Steve onto our team.
Steve was running the bookshop for Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books.
After a very competitive quiz we were beaten by the librarians ... by half a mark!

I was also delighted to be at the East of Scotland Heat which was held at Liberton High School in Edinburgh, organised by their excellent librarian, Christine Babbs.
I am Patron of Reading for Liberton High so it was great to be there to welcome the teams for the Quiz.

Fellow authors Matt Cartney and Keith Charters were on the author team and we were surprised but delighted to discover that we had beaten the teachers' team, but as always the kids were the real stars of the day!  

With matt Cartney and winners of KLQ Central Scotland - St Thomas of Aquins B
Already these and other winning teams from this year's heats are preparing for the trip to the UK final which will be held in Kings College School, London on 4th December 2014.

But the most exciting prize on offer, and any one of the competing teams can win it, is the trip to the World Final.

The winners of the UK national final will travel to the World final to be held in Connecticut USA in the summer of 2015.
There they will be taken about on a wonderful week of experiences as well as competing with and getting to know the other national teams from schools around the world.  New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, USA, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, all have teams competing for a chance to win the KLQ World Final.

If you are a teacher or librarian why not find out more about the quiz and how you and your school can get involved. Authors contact your local quiz organiser (all enthusiastic volunteers!) and come along and take part in this amazing quiz that has got hundreds of young people all over the world sharing their enthusiasm for books and reading!

You can follow the heats on Wayne's blog  http://kidslitquiz.blogspot.co.uk/ and find out all about the quiz and see sample questions on the website  http://www.kidslitquiz.com/

The KLQ is a not for profit and is  run by volunteers. They are always looking for sponsors so if you think you would like to support it do get in touch.

Linda Strachan is the author of over 60 books for all ages from picture books to teenage novels and the writing handbook Writing For Children.

Linda's latest YA novel is Don't Judge Me  
she is Patron of Reading to Liberton High School, Edinburgh.

Her best selling series Hamish McHaggis is illustrated by Sally J. Collins who also illustrated Linda's retelling of Greyfriars Bobby

website:  www.lindastrachan.com
blog:  Bookwords 


Excelsior said...


You might get some inspiration from it. Thank you and I wish you all the best of luck!

Susan Price said...

Great stuff, Linda! As a new Patron of Reading to Cardinal Griffin School, I'm taking inspiration from you.

Penny Dolan said...

These are amazing events, and so enjoyable! Well done to all the schools and volunteers involved.