'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 15 November 2014

Literacy: a Passion, a Skill Set and an Asset for Life

The Reading for Australia (RFA) website started in May 2013 to promote the Kids’ Lit Quiz by providing an online presence to enable all interested in children’s literature find out about this international literary competition for 10 to 13 year old readers.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz started in Australia in 2012, having originated in New Zealand in 1991. Quizzes are also held in the UK, South Africa, Canada and the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong. Regional winners proceed to National Finals, then National Finalists are invited to compete at the World Final (in Connecticut, USA for 2015).

Linda became involved in the Kids’ Lit Quiz through her twin sons, Nick and Leo, who were part of the Australian team that placed second at the 2014 World Final in Cornwall, UK.

“The Quiz came along at just the right time for my boys. They were 10 when our family returned to Australia in 2011 and, in the 18 years I had been overseas, I’d forgotten how a kid’s sporting prowess so often determines “worthiness” in Australian school playgrounds. As keen readers with very ordinary sporting abilities, the boys risked becoming, in their own words, “nobodies” until success in the Quiz gave them the opportunity to be recognized in their school community as excellent readers.”

RFA features guest posts by authors, illustrators and others with an interest in children’s literature, together with book lists and recommendations, reviews by kids and – most critically – information about the Kids’ Lit Quiz. RFA encourages book lovers of all ages to discuss and exchange stories, ideas and information about books.

“I’ve been amazed at the generous support RFA has received from the children’s literature world. Supporters include Andy Griffiths, Jackie French, Ursula Dubosarsky, Deborah Abela, Isobelle Carmody, Rod Clement and so many others who’ve written really interesting guest posts.

RFA also features lots of posts on and by the fantastic Kids’ Lit Quiz community, a wonderful international network of volunteers, all passionate about literacy. It is my great pleasure to introduce some of them to you now:”

Wayne Mills, Founder and Quizmaster, Kids’ Lit Quiz

“The Kids' Lit Quiz rewards and challenges students aged 10-13 to read for pleasure. This is a critical age as most kids can read but often choose not to do so. There is no reading list as students are encouraged to read across all genres, from contemporary works to classics, graphic novels, nursery rhymes and picture books. The Quiz is tailored for each country and new questions are prepared each year.

Masters research has shown that the Kids' Lit Quiz engages students in reading for pleasure (Charles Sturt University, Harrington 2009) and
motivates students to read widely (Connecticut Central State University, Jacques 2012).”

Nicole Deans, National Coordinator, Kids’ Lit Quiz Australia

“The Quiz is an international family of children, teachers, parents and authors drawn together by the joy of reading and a wish to both promote reading for all and reward excellence in reading.”

We have already had great interest in KLQA 2015 [LINK] finding that, once a school comes, it stays because the participants can see value in the experience. Many thanks to the Monkey Baa Theatre at Darling Harbour for giving us their fantastic venue for our Final and to the schools hosting our heats.”

Janine Hudson, Coach, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Australian national teams 

“The KLQ influences younger children to read because they see the older children participating and it is lots of fun!! Friendships are made around the world (not just the children, but coaches and parents too). Did I mention it is lots of fun?!”

Trevor Darwin, UK Kids’ Lit Quiz Adjudicator

“As a former teacher of English and school principal, I am enormously impressed by the power of the Kids’ Lit Quiz to inspire students to value reading and gain enormous pleasure from it. I’ve seen the infectious way in which the passion of a small number of children quickly transmits to their peers and influences them to read with greater enthusiasm.

It also inspires adults. Teachers and school librarians who have been introduced to the Quiz tend to become wholehearted supporters, making their annual regional heat a focal event in the school calendar having to select their teams from increasing numbers of committed young readers year on year.

Authors too, once introduced to the Quiz, see its enormous potential as a way of generating and nurturing a love of literature and an appreciation of the power of language to imagine, enquire, educate and entertain.

Although many kids leave their regional heat with book prizes, book tokens and small cash prizes, every one of them leaves with something less tangible but much more valuable. They have become part of a growing international community at the heart of which is a passion, a skill set and an asset for life.”


Ipswich, Thursday 5 March, 9.30am to 12.30pm.
Brisbane, Friday 6 March,9.30am to 12.30pm.
Orange, Tuesday 10 March, 10am to 1pm.
Canberra, Wednesday 11 March,10am to 1pm.
Sydney, Friday 13 March,10am to 1pm.


Saturday 14 March, Monkey Baa Theatre, Sydney, 1pm to 3pm.