Roedean loves reading

The girls at Roedean School (SA) love to read, read, read. So much so, says senior school librarian Marj Brown, that four of them — junior students Katie Duvenage, Julia Kinghorn, Jessica Wise and Shreeya Khoosal — recently beat pupils from 105 other South African schools to win the South African Kids’ Literary Quiz.

Known as the ‘Olympic Games of reading’, the competition has been going internationally for 22 years. South Africa has been competing for 11. Teams must answer taxing questions on contemporary literature, the classics, graphic novels and comic books. Teams are made up of grades 5, 6 and 7 students.

The Roedean four were coached in early morning bi-weekly sessions by the junior school librarian, Gill Murdoch, and also met on Saturdays to watch films based on children’s literature. They had to be ready to face questions about book titles, opening lines, authors’ names and a host of literary references.

Brown was especially proud that the girls — who fit their reading around their tennis, water polo, karate, ballet, swimming and violin lessons — were able to answer the most gruelling questions of all: What two animals are mentioned in a familiar English sentence that uses all the letters of the alphabet? (Answer: fox and dog.) And which author was awarded the first posthumous Carnegie medal in 2009 for her novel Bog Child? (Answer: Siobhan Dowd.)

Category: Winter 2013

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