The Kids Lit Quiz is an annual literature competition that tests the literary skills of children aged 10-13. It was created in 1991 by New Zealand lecturer, Wayne Mills, as a way to motivate and reward good readers – in the same way that sporty kids get prizes and accolades for their achievements. From small beginnings in New Zealand, the quiz has grown into an international event spanning seven countries and five continents.
The participating countries include Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and UK. Every year, after regional and national heats, each country sends one team to a World Final, where the best readers from the English speaking world, battle it out for the title of World Champions. It is an electrifying competition that has been dubbed the ‘Olympic Games of Reading’.
South Africa has been involved in the Kids Lit Quiz since 2003 when it was introduced by teacher, Marj Brown, who had witnessed the joy and excitement of a Kids Lit Quiz in the UK. On her return to South Africa, she persuaded quiz-master, Wayne Mills to include South Africa on the annual quiz schedule.
South Africa hosted the 2009 World Final in Johannesburg and will again host the World Final in Durban in 2013.