National Reading Champions Quiz: Q&A with Sarah Mathieson, the North London Regional Coordinator

15 Apr 2021

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Sarah Mathieson is a part of our fantastic National Reading Champions Quiz. Taking part in the brilliant inaugural year, Sarah plays an important and special role in inspiring children and schools celebrate their love of reading. Sarah is helping recruit schools and honouring the hard work of teachers and librarians, in North London. We interviewed her to find out more...

Tell me about your role in the quiz?

I've taken teams to the kids lit quiz regional heats for the last few years but this will be my first year as regional (online!) host for the North London area.

In your opinion, what makes the National Reading Champions Quiz so special?

It brings together local schools and young people to celebrate the unique magic of books and reading. It gives keen readers the chance to show off their vast knowledge of all kinds of books and gives all teams and schools the same chance to win.

What would you say to schools who are thinking, or hesitating, about entering a team?

Don't hesitate! It's great fun, it puts reading and books on a par with similar subject based competitions and it's really easy to take part. There's so many different questions that your team won't feel left out and they'll definitely enjoy it and benefit from the experience.

If you were taking part in the quiz, what would your strongest round of questions be?

I always love picture rounds in quizzes but I'm not sure that would be my strongest round... if there was a round on award winning books then that would probably suit me well!

If you were 10-14 now, and had to pick just one book to add to your bookshelf, what would it be?

I'm presuming I already have shelves and shelves of other books and this is just a new one I'm adding otherwise the question is too hard! I would probably pick something by Sarah Crossan, I love the style of her writing and the topics she addresses which I think young people can really engage with.

What is your message to keen readers?

Keep reading and read widely but don't feel you always have to challenge yourself with your reading - re-reading a favourite book can be a great source of comfort.

What would you say to pupils taking part in the regional heats? Have you got an inspirational quote from one of your favourite stories?

Enjoy it, listen to your team mates and my top tip I've always given to my teams is: you probably won't know the answer to all the questions but always, always, put something - you never know, you might be right!