THIS team of brainy Oxford schoolgirls love reading so much they are going to represent the UK at an international literary quiz New Zealand.

On Tuesday night, Hebe Robertson, Sophia Moreno, Annabelle Ronald and Lucy Turner were crowned the national winners of this year’s UK Kids Lit Quiz following a heated final in London.

Now the Oxford High School students will represent their country at the international championships in Auckland in July.

Lucy, 13, said yesterday: “It’s incredible that you can get to New Zealand by answering questions about books.”

Sophia, 12, added: “I can’t quite believe we’ve done it.”

In the quiz, secondary school book lovers are tested on how well they know the world of fiction.

Competitors from across the UK faced questions on characters, plots and authors.

Several Oxfordshire schools competed in this year’s regional heats at Cokethorpe School near Witney on Thursday, and the High School team from North Oxford smashed it.

They have been coached along the way by school librarian, Frances Stott.

Yesterday she said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the Oxford High School girls. They romped to victory last week with a first place in the local heat, and a team of Year 7 girls took the second place spot.

“We didn’t know at the time, but this was the highest-scoring heat out of the 19 taking place around the UK, which clearly stood us in good stead.

“With such a quick turnaround from winning the heat to competing in the final on Tuesday the girls immersed themselves in the world of Kids Lit.”

Themed rounds at Tuesday’s final included ‘book titles’, ‘gods and goddesses’, ‘openings’ and ‘authors’.

Mrs Stott said quizmaster Wayne Mills had crafted the questions very carefully, and gave clues within the theme of each round to reveal more information.

The international Kids Lit Quiz has been co-ordinated for years by Oxfordshire’s own Jacky Atkinson, a former employee at The Cherwell School.

She said yesterday: “We are so proud of our team from Oxford who won the UK National final by a 10-point lead. It’s wonderful that reading for pleasure can take you half way around the world and make so many like minded international friends.”

Now the girls are preparing for the international final and the holiday of a lifetime.

Annabelle, 12, said: “It’s just been such a remarkable experience; it’s been so great to meet other people who share our love of reading.”

Hebe, 13, added: “It’s probably the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me – I’m going to need to get a passport!”