Posted on November 22, 2010 - by MG
More excitement on the Kids Lit Quiz and Booked Up front. Last week I joined the author’s team at the Oxfordshire & Berkshire heat of the Kids Lit Quiz, only to miss an historic finale because I had to swoosh off to That London for a Booked Up launch party.
(I love the swooshing to That London. It sounds very glam and so it is! Whizzing off on a train to some distant part of the capital to drink wine, eat canapes and meet lovely children’s authors and the movers and shakers in the Book Trust, who do so much for kids literacy in the UK that it’s not funny to imagine life without them.)
Anyway, the author team starred the inimitable Lucy Coats, the adorable Mark Robson, the quietly brilliant Susie Day, the Next Big Thing in teen historical fiction, Marie-Louise Jensen (yep, the former editorial director at Scholastic told me that), and a new friend, Joanne Kenrick, who I know from FaceBook and the kids lit world, but met for the first time that night.
Normally the combined intellect of Susie, Mark and Lucy alone would be fine to win the heat, beat all the kids, pah, see THAT?!
But not that night. It was an historic night, destined to bring the highest number of teams ever to participate in a heat (42), as well as the highest ever score in the KLQ (97.5).
The author’s did not get the highest score, nope. The winners did – Oxford High, those brilliant girls. Joshua Files fans too, good on ’em!
(ahem – added belatedly. Apparently I’m wrong, the author’s team did win, by half a point. But their score flashed past in a moment onscreen and we never mention it when the authors win…)
However, the photo shows not the winning team (who for my money may go on to win the UK Championship next week). Instead, it shows the 3rd placed team from St Gregory the Great – the school of which I’m a governor. It’s only the second time we’ve fielded a team, and these guys had to beat former heat winners Cherwell in a tie-break for the 3rd position.
So three cheers for the Saints! And what an achievement by Oxford High – 1st and 2nd place, as well as a record-breaking score!
I missed all the excitement, alas. Still, I had big fun in London, met the lovely people on the selection panel who so kindly included Invisible City in the Booked Up list for 2010. Met Chris Priestly, whose amazing Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror helped me to give our daughter such a great Halloween. And Steve Cole, author of so many hit kids titles (Astrosaurs and Z-Rex, to name only two) that he makes me feel like a slacker.
Turns out that Steve Cole and I share a teenage passion for Blake’s 7. Oh the geekiness in the air as we quoted favourite episodes… Then I had to rush off to catch a train. I didn’t get round to telling Steve Cole how much Blake’s 7 fan fiction I’d written. Just as well. Sometimes I get all silly and start pressing it on fellow B7 fans. Never wise…