02 August 2008

The Kids' Lit Quiz

We won!

Amazing as it sounds, the team of boys from my school won the final of the world Kids' Lit Quiz! It was incredible hard-fought, with the Arnold House team winning by a narrow margin. All boys too - and I was sure the all girls or mixed teams would have the edge!

In case you don't know, as well as working on the UBGs I work three days a week as librarian in a small prep school in North London. It's fun, it pays the bills and I get to work with great kids. We're entered the quiz for the past few years, never getting any further than the London heats, but this time, we won the London ones, then won the UK finals in Newcastle and now we're the World Champions too! Am I proud? Goodness me, yes!

The whole event was great great, and though Oxford wasn't exactly at its best in the seemingly incessant pouring rain (we did our best to reassure the Chinese, New Zealand and South African teams, that yes, the sun did shine here sometimes - not sure they believed us though) the kids had a really good time, and got to do some really excellent things including having high tea on the High Table at Christchurch college - where they filmed the dining-hall scenes for Harry Potter. In all we were in Oxford for five days, staying in Keble College, with the final on the Thursday in the Oxford Playhouse and a gala dinner in the town hall afterwards. Friday was a tour around London and our boys stayed on home-ground while everyone else went back to Oxford for the weekend.

The quiz, which is organised by a New Zealand professor, Wayne Mills, is brilliant. It promotes reading, friendship and healthy competition. If you're at a school that doesn't take part - get your librarian interested. The finals next year will be in South Africa - what more incentive do you need!