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Readers poised for a grilling

Wayne Mills, the Kids' Lit quizmaster, is flying in from Auckland this week and Year 7s and 8s are speed-reading Dahl, Tolkien and Anthony Horowitz.

Meanwhile, in a school library near you, a regional organiser is counting chairs and tables or is up to the eyeballs in late entries.

The 2005 Kids Lit Quiz, supported by The TES, opens next Wednesday with the first of 15 regional heats, including two in Scotland and two in Wales.

There is every chance that entries will top last year's 1,200 from around 200 secondaries. Teams of four will answer Wayne's killer questions to compete for a place in the December 5 final in Newcastle. The winning team will take part in the New Zealand final next summer (the prize includes expenses in New Zealand, but not flights from the UK).

Last year's winners came from Cherwell school in Oxford, where Jacky Atkinson, librarian, is training two teams this year. The Oxfordshire heat, on November 17, is expected to attract 30 teams.

You may still be able to squeeze your school in for some heats of the contest: for details see www.kidslitquiz.com. See daily results updates from November 9 on www.tes.co.uk.

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