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JUDGES SPOILT FOR CHOICE IN CHOOSING THIS YEAR’S FINALISTS IN THE NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARD FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS

Spoilt for choice, say this year’s judges of the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults as they selected the 28 finalists that are announced today.

“Haunted houses, war stories, gritty social issues and some amazingly imaginative works were all part of the mix. It was very challenging for us all to choose these finalists,” says convenor of judges Fiona Mackie.

In this 26th year of celebrating the best of New Zealand writing for our children and young adults, this year’s awards have expanded to include two categories from the now-merged Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) Awards – the Russell Clark Illustration Award and the Te Kura Pounamu Award for books in te reo Māori.

The finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are selected across six categories: Young Adult Fiction, Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction, Picture Book, Illustration and te reo Māori. There were 154 entries submitted for the 2016 Awards.

The judging panel comprises convenor and teacher-librarian, Fiona Mackie; librarian, Kathy Aloniu; and children’s fiction author Melinda Szymanik. In addition, English academic, Professor Martin Salisbury is the advisor for the Russell Clark Illustration Award. Professor Salisbury is the Professor of Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK; he leads its MA Children’s Book Illustration programme which he established in 2000. He has been a member of the international jury for a number of illustration and picture book awards.

The te reo Māori entries were judged by librarians Te Rangi Rangi Tangohau and Lawren Matrix, and Auckland Museum’s Senior Outreach Programmer, Mereana Taungapeau. The convenor of the te reo Māori panel is University of Auckland Kaitiaki Māori librarian Riki-Lee Saua.

Fiona Mackie says the judges had an outstanding array of titles from which to choose the finalists. “We were thoroughly spoiled for choice and could have easily selected far more than five books in every category. Particularly impressive to us were books written and illustrated by first-timers. Smaller, niche publishers also submitted quality books, matching the well-established publishing houses in terms of presentation and the quality of production.

“New Zealand publishing for our children and young adults is going from strength to strength. Year upon year we see the bar raised not only in the writing and illustration quality, but also in the look and feel of a book. Reading is such a tactile activity, and we’re pleased to see the publishers have paid particular attention to the feel of a book in a reader’s hands,” she says.

In judging the young adult fiction category, Fiona Mackie says that these readers vicariously experience a wide range of situations and emotions in the books they read, and this year’s titles certainly reflect that. “As judges, we too experienced the fear, love, hope, despair, lust, joy, anger and exhilaration reflected in the 17 books submitted.”

The Esther Glen junior fiction finalists deliver even more than their appearances, say the judges. “With perfect prose matching the mood of each story, and with fresh and intriguing characters, these books are by turn thrilling, funny, moving and satisfying.” Twenty-five books were submitted in this category.

The judges say non-fiction titles continue to be vitally important to support learners and readers at all levels. “Selected from 19 submissions, all five finalists demonstrate careful thought and attention to what makes non-fiction appealing. These are well chosen topics which are visually engaging on clearly laid-out pages and, vitally, the subjects are strongly relevant not only to young New Zealanders but also their parents, teachers and school library staff.”

With 60 books submitted in the picture book category, the five finalists give readers charming glimpses of New Zealand life. “From much-loved toys, an old tractor, Halloween and Matariki celebrations, and the origins of the haka, the judges found these books to be emotional, enchanting and a good read, with a satisfying resolution for each story,” says Fiona.

Illustration award

Twenty-nine books were submitted for the Russell Clark Illustration Award. The judges say that the five finalist illustrated books succeed in not only capturing the story itself, but also in communicating the underlying emotional landscape. “These books reveal the layers in the narratives and their moods with wit and imagination, building creatively on the words to result in a richer experience for the reader.”

Te reo Māori (Te Kura Pounamu Award)

Selected from four submissions, the judges agreed that the three finalists’ books uplift and enrich te reo Māori literature. Convenor of the judging panel Riki-Lee Saua says,” These three books stood out for their inspiring and relevant content, stunning illustrations and excellence in the quality of Māori language translations.”

 

The finalists for the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are:

Young Adult Fiction

Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo, Brian Falkner, Pan Macmillan Australia (Farrar Strauss Giroux)

Being Magdalene, Fleur Beale, Penguin Random House (Random House New Zealand)

Hucking CodyAaron Topp, Mary Egan Publishing

Lullaby, Bernard Beckett, Text Publishing

Sylvie the Second, Kaeli Baker, Mākaro Press

Junior Fiction (Esther Glen Award)

Enemy Camp, David Hill, Penguin Random House (Puffin)

From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle, Kate De Goldi, Penguin Random House (Longacre)

Lily Max – Satin, Scissors, Frock, Jane Bloomfield, Luncheon Sausage Books

The Bold Ship Phenomenal, Sarah Johnson, Flat Bed Press

The Girl Who Rode the Wind, Stacy Gregg, Harper Collins

Non-Fiction (Elsie Locke Award)

ANZAC Heroes, Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic, Scholastic NZ

Changing Times: The story of a New Zealand town and its newspaper, Bob Kerr, Potton & Burton

See what I can see, Gregory O’Brien, Auckland University Press

The Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Sport in New Zealand, Steve Gurney, Penguin Random House (Random House New Zealand)

Whose Beak is This? Gillian Candler, illustrated by Fraser Williamson, Potton & Burton

Picture Book

Allis the little tractor, Sophie Siers, illustrated by Helen Kerridge, Millwood-Heritage Productions

Finding Monkey Moon, Elizabeth Pulford, illustrated by Kate Wilkinson, Walker Books

Haka, Patricia Grace, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, Huia Publishers

The House on the Hill, Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Sarah Davis, Scholastic NZ

The Little Kiwi’s Matariki, Nikki Slade Robinson, David Ling Publishing (Duck Creek Press)

Illustration (Russell Clark Award)

Changing Times: The story of a New Zealand town and its newspaper, Bob Kerr, Potton & Burton

Finding Monkey Moon, illustrated by Kate Wilkinson, written by Elizabeth Pulford, Walker Books

Hush: A Kiwi Lullaby, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, written by Joy Cowley, translated by Ngaere Roberts, Scholastic NZ

Much Ado About Shakespeare, Donovan Bixley, Upstart Press

The House on the Hill, illustrated by Sarah Davis, written by Kyle Mewburn, Scholastic NZ

Te reo Māori (Te Kura Pounamu Award)

Tamanui te Kōkako Mōrehu o Taranaki, Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers

Te Hua Tuatahi a Kuwi, Kat Merewether, translated by Pānia Papa, Illustrated Publishing

Whiti te Rā! Patricia Grace, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers

HELL Children’s Choice finalists also announced

Kiwi children have enthusiastically voted online to select the finalists for the HELL Children’s Choice Awards. HELL Pizza general manager Ben Cumming says, “As a creative, New Zealand-owned business, HELL Pizza is passionate about feeding the imaginations of Kiwi kids and helping develop their literacy – particularly through a relationship with books. The stories these young readers have chosen as finalists are exciting, well-written, beautifully illustrated and clearly resonate with their audience. We can’t agree on our favourite, but luckily it’s not up to us!” Voting for the winners in the five categories of the HELL Children’s Choice Award opens on Wednesday, 8 June and closes on Friday, 22 July.

The HELL Children’s Choice finalists are:

Young Adult Fiction

Being Magdalene by Fleur Beale, Penguin Random House (Random House New Zealand)

Stray, Rachel Craw, Walker Books

Sylvie the Second, Kaeli Baker, Mākaro Press

Junior Fiction

Cool Nukes, Des Hunt, Scholastic NZ

Enemy Camp, David Hill, Penguin Random House (Puffin)

The Girl Who Rode the Wind, Stacy Gregg, Harper Collins

Non-Fiction

ANZAC Heroes, Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic, Scholastic NZ

First to the Top, David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris, Penguin Random House (Puffin)

Wildboy, Brando Yelavich, Penguin Random House (Penguin)

Picture Book

Kuwi’s Huhu Hunt, Kat Merewether, Illustrated Publishing

Stripes! No, Spots! Vasanti Unka, Penguin Random House (Puffin)

The House on the Hill, Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Sarah Davis, Scholastic NZ

Te reo Māori

Tamanui te Kōkako Mōrehu o Taranaki, Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers

Te Hua Tuatahi a Kuwi, Kat Merewether, translated by Pānia Papa, Illustrated Publishing

Whiti te Rā! Patricia Grace, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, translated by Kawata Teepa, Huia Publishers

A Finalist Authors’ tour will run from 1-9 August nationwide, with authors appearing in schools, libraries and bookshops.

The winners of the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced on the evening of Monday, 8 August at Circa Theatre in Wellington.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults could not exist without the generosity, commitment and vision of its sponsors. The New Zealand Book Award Trust is grateful to all these organisations for their support: Creative New Zealand, HELL Pizza, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd, Wellington City Council, Nielsen Book Services, Copyright Licensing Limited and the Fernyhough Education Foundation.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are administered by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

Ends

For more information, please contact Adrienne Olsen, publicist for the awards:                                                                                           

Adrienne OlsenT04 496 5513

Adroite Communications, WellingtonM029 286 3650

Media Advisors, 2016 New Zealand Book

Awards for Children and Young Adults

E           adrienne@adroite.co.nz

For more information on the Awards, click here.

Sophia Egan-Reid