22nd Kids Lit Quiz, the Olympic Games of kids reading, heads for Durban

Q: What two animals are mentioned in the familiar English sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet?
A: Fox and dog

Q: What author was awarded the first ever posthumous Carnegie Medal in 2009 for her novel Bog Child?
A: Siobhan Dowd

The 22nd international Kids Lit Quiz will be taking place in Durban on the 3rd July. National finalists from 6 different countries will participate in this year’s quiz, considered to be the Olympic Games of reading. Sponsored by The Times newspaper in SA, the event promises to be a nail biting literary battle, based on the past 2000 of literature.

GM of Marketing for Times Media, Susan Russell says, “Both The Times and Sunday Times’ support of this exciting event is aligned with Times Media Group’s commitment to improving literacy and literary excellence in South Africa, and forms part of Times Media’s on-going education initiatives.”
Marj Brown, convenor of the South African part of the international quiz says “The Kids Lit Quiz celebrates and rewards reading and literary knowledge. It incentivises and motivates children to read widely, challenges their literary depth, and enables them to broaden their cultural horizons.” Brown, a Maths, History and English teacher, also feels that reading builds tolerance, and is the core skill for every school subject.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz tests the literary knowledge of learners aged 10 to 13-years (Grades 5, 6 and 7) on various themes included in English children’s literature. The teams, consisting of four learners per school, are required to answer 100 questions on topics which are unknown prior to the contest. More than 1000 children from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand and Canada participate in regional and national heats in their countries, in order to compete and be named Kids Lit Quiz World Champions.

Quiz-master, Wayne Mills, senior lecturer in Children’s Literature at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, conceived the quiz format and sets the questions. He has been highly commended for his contributions to building literacy in New Zealand and was awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children’s literature (2008) and became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2011).
In 2012, Roedean School in Johannesburg represented South Africa, and were placed second in the World Finals. This year, once again, Roedean is the SA representative.

“Similarly Sunday Times is also sponsoring the Phendulani Literary Quiz – where books are made available to schools in disadvantaged areas – with regional quizzes being held in October, across five regions ” concludes Russell.

The quiz will be held at Durban Girls College at 1:30pm – 4:30 pm on the 3rd July, after which the teams will be treated to a gala dinner, at Ushaka Marine World, where they will meet 15 South African authors. For more details contact SA KLQ coordinator, Marj Brown 0846362998 or

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