Readers Cup a ‘Novel’ Experience for NayCol Year Nines


On Monday 5 July, nine Nayland College students competed in the Top of the South Readers Cup. The cup is an event designed to quiz Year 9 students on their memory and comprehension skills using six books. Student Journalist (and competitor) Finn Kerby-Pinguet reports.

The Reader’s Cup is a literary competition in which students read a selection of six books during the months before the event, and then answer specific questions about the books. Questions are typically trivial details about characters or events from the books, with some questions requiring an answer in two parts. Half points can be given, and in the past these fractions of a point have resulted in some contentious victories. The competition is for Year 9’s, meaning that for many students it is a continuation of the Lit Quiz (for Year 7 and 8), also a literary quizzing competition. 

Image by: Supplied

Students are encouraged to come in costume, with many choosing to coordinate their team in relation to the six books. Nayland College hosted the event in our hall, with our librarian Tracey Winslade playing a significant role in running and organizing the competition. Teams are permitted up to 5 members, but students opting to have a fifth member must have one member sit out for each round. 

Image by: Supplied

Nayland College entered two teams, consisting of nine total members. In the end, the cup was won by a Waimea College team. One Nayland team, “Ajo Baleena” came fourth, with “Orbiting Frank” ending up in ninth place. 18 teams competed, most bringing along parents, staff, and school librarians. 

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The books selected had a particular focus on books written by New Zealand and Australian authors, but also had one British and one American novel. The six books, selected by the national competition organizers were: 

  • Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmitt
  • When the World was Oursby Liz Kessler
  • Hive by A.J. Betts
  • A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry Jonsberg
  • The Traitor and the Thief by Gareth Ward
  • Ursa by Tina Shaw

Some books were received more favourably than others, and it seemed everyone in the teams had their favourites. Thank you to Ms. Winslade for organising practices, distributing books, and helping run the event, and congratulations to all students involved.

By Student Journalist Finn Kerby-Pinguet