FOUR bright young things are celebrating a ‘colossal’ victory after scooping the 2012 Portsmouth Literature Quiz with a record eight-point lead.
Sophie Raymond, 10, Jack Baker, 11, Catherine Rowland, 11 and Jade Davies, 10, of Northern Parade Juniors scored 71 out of 80 questions at the fourth annual event, at Fratton Park yesterday.
Theirs was one of 30 teams – including authors Ali Sparkes, Guy Bass, Angela McAllister and Andrew Norriss – that were pitted against each other over eight nail-biting rounds.
Questions ranging from the size of Harry Potter books to details about guest authors’ works did not faze the boys and girls from 13 city schools who are all keen readers.
But Northern Parade’s team set the bar from the start when they scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in the opening general knowledge round.
Sophie said: ‘I can’t believe we tied with the authors – I wasn’t expecting that.
‘At first I was nervous but we kept getting the answers right, which made us more confident. I’m so proud of our team.’
Jack revealed the secret to his team’s success was for each pupil to focus on one of the guest authors’ works.
He added ‘We came second last year so it’s great to win.
‘I love science fiction books and Andrew Norriss is one of my favourite authors, so it was fun to compete against him.’
A team from St Swithun’s Catholic Primary came second on 63 points and Court Lane Juniors followed shortly behind on 60 points.
Luke Blay, 10, from St Swithun’s, said: ‘The quiz was quite nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. It’s nice to be celebrate reading like this.’
Azhar Barree, 10, from Court Lane Juniors, said: ‘Our team worked well together and we enjoyed every minute of it. Meeting authors of books we love to read means a lot to us.’
Guy Bass, two-time Portsmouth Book Award winner, said: ‘The children were fantastic – they remembered my books better than I did!’
Peter Bone, manager of the school library service, which organised the quiz and is backing our literacy campaign Read All About to boost reading, said: ‘It was a colossal victory for Northern Parade. Normally there are a couple of points between teams but they were several points ahead.
‘When you get more than 100 children in a room cheering and screaming because of books it makes you very happy and you know you’re doing something right.’