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Top readers from across the UK shine in the Grand Final of the National Reading Champions Quiz!

06 Jun 2024

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On Wednesday (5 June) we welcomed pupils from 22 schools across the UK in London for the National Reading Champions Quiz grand final to compete for star reader status.

Our annual National Reading Champions Quiz celebrates book lovers aged 10 to 14 and is the only national reading quiz dedicated entirely to fiction books.

This was the fourth year of the quiz, which was again made possible thanks to generous support from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

Regional heats were carried out online across the UK from 22 February to 25 March and the winning teams from each region were invited to compete in the grand in-person final at the Victory Services Club in London.

After nine rounds of tough questions from Quiz Master Mr Dilly about authors, books, genres and themes, the team from Emanuel School in South West London were declared our National Reading Champions for 2024.

The winning team comprised of passionate readers Tosca, Tom, Beatrice, Cecilia and Mishka took home a trophy for their school, presented by our Chief Executive Jonathan Douglas, and were each given a £25 book voucher, certificate and a selection of signed books.

Prizes were awarded for the top four scoring schools, top newcomer, top primary school team and a participation prize, as well as an award for a separate copyright challenge posed by ALCS.

The final was also attended by five successful children’s authors: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Adiba Jaigirdar, Sita Bramachari, Iszi Lawrence and Tom Palmer.

The authors delighted the pupils with a Q&A panel where they talked about how reading inspired them to write, their writing process and celebrating diverse books.

Pupils were also able to ask their questions to the authors and chat with them after the event, even getting their books signed.

Tom Palmer

“I loved seeing the children’s excitement for books and for reading, it was infectious. And to be honest, it also gave me hope.”

Our research shows that reading for pleasure is at its lowest level since 2005, meaning that projects celebrating reading are more important than ever.

Owning books can also be key to reading for enjoyment, and every quiz finalist was sent home with a selection of free books, thanks to generous donations from Penguin Random House, Nosy Crow, Browns Books and Peters.

“I have been teaching for 30 years as an English teacher and nothing compares to this experience, sitting in a hall filled with children who are readers and their teachers and librarians. Its an electric atmosphere. Thanks so much to the Trust and ALCS for taking this on, it’s a fantastic achievement.”

Susan Watson, Head of English at Dr Tomlinson Middle School, one of the finalist schools.

“It has been another amazing year running the National Reading Champions Quiz and we’ve been beyond impressed by the reading knowledge of the teams who competed in the final. This event is an annual highlight for us, as we get to celebrate young readers and the teachers and librarians who support them and foster a reading for pleasure culture in schools. We are pleased that the quiz celebrates the benefits of reading and the pupils who are passionate about it, and we hope to welcome both returning and new readers next year.”

Henrietta Roberts, Senior Project Manager at the National Literacy Trust

“ALCS is thrilled to support the National Reading Champions Quiz for another year. We’re always blown away by the knowledge, passion and dedication that each of the teams demonstrate and the grand final is such an impressive scene to witness! The most rewarding element of our partnership with the National Literacy Trust is knowing that these young people are cementing a love of reading that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Barbara Hayes, CEO at ALCS

The National Reading Champions Quiz will return in 2025. To stay up-to-date with the latest Reading Champions news, sign up to our National Literacy Trust newsletters.

Visit the Reading Champions Challenge web page for inspiration to support students to discover a love of reading, improve their reading stamina and read diversely with fun and engaging ideas every term.

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