Johannesburg team wins literature quiz in PMB

2010-02-15 00:00

THERE was a buzz at the Liberty Midlands Mall at lunchtime on Saturday, with the area teeming with book enthusiasts.

The national finals of the Kids Lit Quiz came to town, and the top eight teams from the 130 around the country who contested the regional heats last week battled it out over five rounds, showing off their literary knowledge in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

The winners, The Ridge from Johannesburg, will head off to Edinburgh in August for the international final and a meeting with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

The quizmaster and brains behind Kids Lit is Wayne Mills, a senior lecturer in children’s literature at the Auckland College of Education in New Zealand.

Mills had been to all the regional competitions during his week in South Africa, and was flying home after the finals. His trip was sponsored by Exclusive Books, which also gave all the prizes and the snacks.

The eight teams were Athlone and Epworth Primary Schools, both in Pietermaritzburg as they were the host town; St Henry’s in Durban; Wynberg Girls’ Junior School in Cape Town; Harvest Christian School in Port Elizabeth; The Ridge and Parkview in Johannesburg, the biggest region, and Waterkloof in Pretoria.

The Ridge won on the day, but the biggest cheers by far were for the Athlone team of Fathima-Zahra Rahiman, Helen Scharf, Axl Forder and Yoraesha Naidoo, who came third, and were the only government school team to make the final.

The children had to answer questions on superheroes, book titles, novel openings, authors and myths and legends.

And while the teams’ buzzers were working overtime, many in the audience were left scratching their heads. It was a day for serious bookworms only.

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