Aschool in Fareham celebrated a bookish hat-trick after scooping first prize at this year’s Solent Children’s Literature Quiz.
Lucy Henning, 12, Maisie Bedford, 12, Emily Dimmock, 13, and Sam Woodyard, 13, of Henry Cort Community College, beat teams from five other schools at the prestigious literary event hosted by Bridgemary Community Sports College.
They also trumped a team made up of local authors Michael Coleman, Andrew Norriss, Craig Simpson and Judy Waite, as they sailed through eight rounds of questions on a range of themes including Flights of Fantasy, Book Titles and author Michael Morpurgo.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement as Anne Marley, school library service manager, asked questions that kept the teams as well as audience members on their toes.
Winning team member Sam says: ‘The competition was really close. But the result was amazing – I can’t believe we’ve now won it three times in a row!
‘The most challenging round was the Humour round because it made us think very hard. I think the question we were most pleased with getting right was the one about the King of the Cloud Forest, by Michael Morpurgo.’
He adds: ‘I have read Aquila by Andrew Norriss and really enjoyed it.
‘When I found out that Aquila 2 was out, and that Andrew was at the quiz I desperately wanted it signed!’
Other schools that took part in the evening planned by Hampshire School Library Service and supported by both Lee-on-the-Solent Co-op and Hayling Island Bookshop, were Bay House, Bridgemary, Cams Hill, Hamble Community and Swanmore College of Technology.
It was a close call with just one point between the winners, runners-up Swanmore and Cams Hill in third place.
Colin Telford of Hayling Island Bookshop said: ‘The authors were soundly beaten by the highly-knowledgeable children, but there were no hard feelings!
‘The atmosphere was really good and the teams had an audience of about 60, many of whom were parents who had to be told not to give away any answers!
‘It’s good to see so many youngsters in senior schools who are reading so much. It’s a healthy sign.’
The winners won a shield as well as book tokens, and all the participants went home with a paperback.