The Horn Bookers — a.k.a. Goldilocks and the Free Beers, a.k.a. Elissa, Shara, Katrina, Lolly, and Rachel — got off to a slow start at last night’s Children’s Book Boston trivia event held at M. J. O’Connor’s Irish Pub located in Back Bay. We were two team members down at the start of the evening and facing off against a host of tremendous competitors — close to one hundred seasoned children’s book professionals, from librarians to publishers to booksellers and beyond.
By the end of the first round, stumped by an obscure quote and unable to identify the pseudonym for author Kevin Christopher McFadden — who turned out to be Christopher Pike — we found ourselves in second to last place. Nursing our drinks (and bruised egos), we persevered.
With only a minute or so allotted for each question, our fabulously funny quizmaster, Jack Gantos, kept things moving at a brisk pace. Being somewhat of a local legend (not to mention a Newbery Medalist), he was even the subject of several trivia questions.
After a couple of lightning round fill-in-the-blank worksheets (and more hail-Mary answers than we care to admit), we pulled ahead to a respectable third place. Finally, we were contenders.
It was the last round that sealed the deal, however. Katrina knew the answer to the question about Barack Obama’s picture book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. And Lolly saved the day more than once with her extensive illustrator knowledge — acing questions on Audrey and Don Wood, Robert McCloskey, and Marc Simont. The Horn Book team was also at a distinct advantage for the difficult question about its founder, Bertha Mahony Miller.
It was a close game all night. Goldilocks and the Free Beers broke late and managed to claw our way to first place. But Furious George was right on our heels, one point behind at the final tally. So what’s the moral of the story? Thank you, Bertha! We couldn’t have done it without you.
And thank you to the organizers and everyone who attended. Trivia night was a great success! We’re hoping for a rematch. For more information on Children’s Books Boston and future events, please click here.