Four knowledgeable and voracious teen readers from St Joseph's School are among the most book-smart pupils in the country.
Nelson's Lit Quiz champs, Rebecca Newnham, Macy Cattell, Larkspur Brudvik and Fiona Bonnett, placed second at the national literature quiz this week, narrowly missing a place at the world champs in South Africa.
The girls were winning for four out of five rounds at the national finals, held at the National Library in Wellington, but were pipped at the post by Takapuna Normal Intermediate Auckland and just missed out on a trip to Durban.
The runners-up received $100, books and pens, for their efforts, and earned the pride of their classmates.
The annual Lit Quiz competition tests pupils aged between 10 and 13-years-old on their knowledge of books and authors. Thirteen teams contested the New Zealand finals, with the Takapuna school earning top honours after overtaking St Joseph's in the final chapter.
Lit Quiz coach Chris Gladstone said the girls were a privilege and pleasure to work with and were committed to their preparation for the national event.
"They were stunning, absolutely committed to the cause. They had practice in the library two times a week and were always there."
She said the Kids' Lit Quiz, run by the University of Auckland's Wayne Mills, allowed academically excellent students to shine in competition, just like school sports stars.
"He sees it as the sport of reading, it's great."
Mrs Gladstone said reading was probably the best way to learn about people and places, and far away things. A good book could stir the imagination and inspire action, or elicit emotion, she said.
Principal Mike Burton said Mrs Gladstone had spent countless lunchtime hours helping and encouraging the girls. Her love of literature and teaching combined to make her the perfect Lit Quiz coach, he said.
QUIZ KIDS' FAVOURITE READS Lark: Voices of Danger, by Alick Rowe. Fiona:Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett. Macy:Maximum Ride, by James Patterson. Rebecca:Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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