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And the Answer Is....

Grace at this year’s Kids’ Lit Quiz competition in New Zealand with quizmaster and founder Wayne Mills

“I love running the Kids’ Lit Quiz [KLQ],”  says KLQ quizmaster and founder Wayne Mills. “I enjoy asking all the questions and being able to travel around the world meeting kids who love books as much as I do.”

A global organization founded more than 30 years ago, the KLQ hosts annual competitions in countries around the world, including the United States. Student finalists in the KLQ, who range in age from 10 to 13, test their knowledge of various book-related topics. 

I spoke with Mills in November at the New Zealand National Finals, where I competed. “The years just whizzed by,” he said. “I look back and wonder, ’Where did the time go?’”

Students from around the country met for the finals at the National Library in the capital city of Wellington. Teams of students from qualifying schools were quizzed in five 15-question categories. The questions tested our knowledge on everything from demigods to storybook villains. 


In the KLQ finals in New Zealand, teams of students from qualifying schools were quizzed on five categories related to children’s literature. 


Participating in the KLQ is both thrilling and nerve-racking. It requires concentration and a strong long-term memory. The five categories, which vary from year to year, are kept secret until the day of the quiz. When a team member thinks they know an answer, they hit their buzzer and are given five seconds to answer. If the answer is correct, the team gets two points. If it’s incorrect, they lose one.

Teams have a chance to earn up to 30 points in each round. This year, Belmont Intermediate School in Auckland won the KLQ competition. Winning is a huge honor, but every students who tests their book knowledge feels a sense of satisfaction.


Photos courtesy of the author