Leonie Agnew

Finalists for 2015 Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

The finalists for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are:
 
Picture Books
 
Construction
by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock
Walker Books Australia
I Am Not a Worm
by Scott Tulloch
Scholastic New Zealand
Jim’s Letters
by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper
Penguin Random House
Keys
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Huia Publishers
Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite
by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
 
Non-Fiction
 
Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes
by Fifi Colston
Scholastic New Zealand
Māori Art for Kids
by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke
Craig Potton Publishing
Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill
by Debbie McCauley
Mauao Publishing
The Book of Hat
by Harriet Rowland
Makaro Press/Submarine
Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life
by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud
Craig Potton Publishing
 
Junior Fiction
 
Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand
by Leonie Agnew
Penguin Random House/Puffin
Dragon Knight: Fire!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Monkey Boy
by Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
The Island of Lost Horses
by Stacy Gregg
HarperCollins
The Pirates and the Nightmaker
by James Norcliffe
Penguin Random House/Longacre Child
 
 
Young Adults
I Am Rebecca
by Fleur Beale
Penguin Random House
Night Vision
by Ella West
Allen & Unwin
Recon Team Angel: Vengeance
by Brian Falkner
Walker Books Australia
Singing Home the Whale
by  Mandy Hager
Penguin Random House
While We Run
by Karen Healey
Allen & Unwin
 
Māori Language Award
Hoiho Paku
by Stephanie Thatcher
Translated by Ngaere Roberts
Scholastic New Zealand
Ngā Ki
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Translated by Kawata Teepa
Huia Publishers
(translation of Keys, a finalist in the Picture Book category)

Buzz and Inspiration to Read the Focus for Finalist Authors' Tour

Twenty passionate and entertaining authors, excited children, more than 70 events, and a tons of fun and inspiration mark this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Finalist Authors’ Tour.
 

The LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards Winners for 2015

On Tuesday night the children's literary world came together at the National Library in Wellington to celebrate the New Zealand writers, illustrators and translators who made it into the finals of the LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards. With Hell Pizza as the main sponsor, and Hataitai School Year 7 & 8 students on hand to deliver over 50 pizzas to the 150 guests, attendees were well fed before the ceremonies began.
 

Great Richness and Diversity in This Year’s Finalists in the NZ Book Awards For Children and Young Adults

 
Pirates, orcas and penguins leap from the pages of the 22 books picked as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. 
 
In the 25th year of these venerable awards, New Zealand authors have once again produced beautifully written and illustrated books that are wonderful to hold and read, showing that publishing for New Zealand children is in very good heart.
 
One hundred and forty-nine books were submitted for the Awards. A panel of three judges (judging convenor and children’s book reviewer and literary consultant Bob Docherty; author and children’s bookshop owner, Annemarie Florian; and teacher-librarian Fiona Mackie), with the assistance of Te Reo Māori language adviser, freelance Māori writer and editor Stephanie Pohe-Tibble, have spent months reading, analysing and enjoying all entries.
The finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are selected across four categories: Picture Book, Non-Fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction, and there is an additional award for books written in Māori, for which there are finalists for the first time. 
 
Judging panel convenor Bob Docherty says the judges were very pleased with the high quality of this year’s writing. “We likened the process to a vintner looking forward to tasting this year’s vintage. Having tasted, we all were delighted with this year’s production of titles – not only in terms of the actual writing, but also the fantastic quality and style of the illustrations and the actual presentation of the books. It’s heartening to see that book production in New Zealand is getting better and better. We’re pleased that publishers continue to put as much emphasis on the look and feel – literally – of a book as well as its content. 
 
“The Picture Book category gave the judges the most difficulty – in the best possible way. With a whopping 75 entries, there was fierce competition to pare these down to five finalists. This indicates that New Zealand is producing its fair share of wonderfully strong visual stories – stories with simple integrity yet with expressive characters, where both author and illustrator work together to capture our interest on every page,” says Bob.
 
“All books submitted in the Non-Fiction category were particularly impressive - almost in defiance of the trend for some libraries to dispense with their non-fiction collections in favour of online sources. The judging panel believed all the Non-Fiction entries contained material that was far superior to any online source, and all entries deserved to be finalists, says Bob.
 
There were 35 entries in Junior Fiction category. “All these books were a delight to read. This year’s finalists have combined comic book illustrations with the traditional novel format, and four of the five books have an historical connection. Fantasy and adventure also figure, and there is a strong anti-bullying link within the finalists’ titles in this category.
 
The judges agreed that all 21 entries in the Young Adult Fiction category were stunning. The high standard of writing reflects the calibre of New Zealand’s world-class writers. The human condition and teenage relationships were intimately discussed, and dialogue was a strong feature of all of these novels.
 
Two finalists for the Māori language award
Seven books were submitted in the Māori language award, with two selected as finalists. Te Reo Māori language adviser, Stephanie Pohe-Tibble, says that all of this year’s entries had something for every reader - from beginning speakers of Māori to children and whānau involved in kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori. The two finalists both stood out with their innovative approach to translation, wonderful text and illustrations, and creativity of storylines.

Stephanie says, “I hope that all parents wishing to enrich their children’s lives with the Māori language will get to spend some special time with their children reading and enjoying these books.”

 
New Children’s Choice finalists’ list now decided by children
Children’s choices rule in the newly revamped Children’s Choice Awards in 2015. This year, more than 6,500 children and young adults from 106 schools from throughout the country have selected their own finalists from the 149 books submitted for the Awards. In previous years, the Children’s Choice was made from the judges’ finalist list, rather than from the full number of submitted books.
 
Nicola Legat, chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, says, ”We wanted to hand this section over to the children – for them to decide which books they engaged with and which books they loved, rather than making their choices based on the criteria the judges used to make their decisions. Of the 20 books chosen as Children’s Choice finalists, seven match those on the judges’ list, so we’re very much looking forward to seeing the results of round two of the children’s vote over the next seven weeks.”
 
Voting for the Children’s Choice opens on Tuesday, 9 June and closes on Friday, 31 July. This year there will be a winner in each category.
 
Prince George to receive Picture Book finalists
For the second year, the five Picture Book finalists books are about to be sent to Prince George of Cambridge and his newborn sister Princess Charlotte. Each of the five books has a personal message from its author to both children. 
 
“Each year the New Zealand Book Awards Trust is sending Prince George, and now his little sister, specially signed books from the authors of the Picture Book finalists. As they grow older the Cambridge family will receive the Non-Fiction finalists, then the Junior Fiction. When George is 13, we’ll send the autographed Young Adult Fiction books. By the time the Cambridge children have grown up, they’ll have a wonderful collection of New Zealand children’s and young adult literature – all personally inscribed,” says Nicola Legat.
 
The finalists for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are:
 
Picture Books
 
Construction
by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock
Walker Books Australia
I Am Not a Worm
by Scott Tulloch
Scholastic New Zealand
Jim’s Letters
by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper
Penguin Random House
Keys
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Huia Publishers
Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite
by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
 
Non-Fiction
 
Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes
by Fifi Colston
Scholastic New Zealand
Māori Art for Kids
by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke
Craig Potton Publishing
Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill
by Debbie McCauley
Mauao Publishing
The Book of Hat
by Harriet Rowland
Makaro Press/Submarine
Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life
by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud
Craig Potton Publishing
 
Junior Fiction
 
Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand
by Leonie Agnew
Penguin Random House/Puffin
Dragon Knight: Fire!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Monkey Boy
by Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
The Island of Lost Horses
by Stacy Gregg
HarperCollins
The Pirates and the Nightmaker
by James Norcliffe
Penguin Random House/Longacre Child
 
 
Young Adults
I Am Rebecca
by Fleur Beale
Penguin Random House
Night Vision
by Ella West
Allen & Unwin
Recon Team Angel: Vengeance
by Brian Falkner
Walker Books Australia
Singing Home the Whale
by  Mandy Hager
Penguin Random House
While We Run
by Karen Healey
Allen & Unwin
 
Māori Language Award
Hoiho Paku
by Stephanie Thatcher
Translated by Ngaere Roberts
Scholastic New Zealand
Ngā Ki
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Translated by Kawata Teepa
Huia Publishers
(translation of Keys, a finalist in the Picture Book category)

Celebrating 20 years of Storylines

Wellington Children’s Bookshop owner Ruth McIntyre is looking forward to the buzz and excitement of Storylines Wellington Family Day at the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday 17 August. “There’s a lot of preparation for it, making sure there’s stock of all the guest writers’ books. But I have a wonderful time on the day. People are really impressed because it is free and so it has a really good vibe,” says Ruth.

The event is obviously good business for the store, who will have at least three staff members on hand as well.

Diary of a Kiwi Soldier Wins Children’s Book of the Year

The true story of a World War l Kiwi soldier has won the country’s highest honour in children’s writing at the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Nice Day for a War, by author Matt Elliot and illustrated by Chris Slane was awarded the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year at a ceremony held in Wellington tonight. The book is based on the original diaries of Elliot’s grandfather, Corporal Cyril Elliot.

Nice Day for a War is a stand-out book which offers young readers an honest glimpse into the lives of soldiers during World War I,” says Gillian Candler, the Awards Convenor of Judges.

“The beautiful fluid line drawings and muted watercolour washes bring the diary to life. The interplay between the illustrations and text creates a powerful, emotionally engaging story for young readers.

“The judging panel are delighted to award it the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year for 2012,” Gillian Candler added.

A picture book, The Cat’s Pyjamas by first time published writer and illustrator Catherine Foreman, won the coveted 2012 Children’s Choice Award. The award is heralded as a significant indicator of audience opinion. The book’s main character enchanted children throughout New Zealand with his colourful collection of pyjamas; one for everyday of the week.

Debut writer, Leonie Agnew not only took this year’s Best First Book Award but also won the Junior Fiction category for her novel Super Finn.

“The characters in Super Finn are incredibly funny and thoroughly believable. This book touches the heart and the funny bone. The judges couldn’t ask for more,” says Gillian Candler.

The Young Adult Fiction category award went to Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby. Calling the Gods was praised by the judges as a masterful work that transcends genre and can be read with pleasure at many levels.

Rāhui by Chris Szekely and illustrated by Malcolm Ross won the Picture Book category. The book has two language editions: Te Reo Māori and English.

“Both versions of this beautiful book have a timeless quality, with the story dealing sensitively with the sad drowning of a cousin,” Gillian Candler said.

The judging panel, which also included children’s bookseller Annemarie Florian and author and illustrator Bob Kerr were impressed how each of this year’s finalists provoke thought and said they will help young people better understand both themselves and others.

“It was a pleasure selecting the winners of the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.  We read aloud, laughed, were intrigued and held in suspense. And we empathised. This year’s finalists all feature strong stories that hold the reader, skilful language and illustration, and engaging themes,” Gillian Candler added.

The 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards winners are:
 

New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year
Nice Day for a War
by Matt Elliott and illustrated by Chris Slane
(HarperCollins Publishers)

Children’s Choice Award
The Cat’s Pyjamas
by Catherine Foreman
(Scholastic New Zealand)


Best First Book Award
Super Finn
by Leonie Agnew
(Scholastic New Zealand)
Picture Book category winner

Rāhui (Maori version)
by Chris Szekely translated by Brian Morris and illustrated by Malcolm Ross
(Huia Publishers)

Rāhui (English version)
by Chris Szekely and illustrated by Malcolm Ross
(Huia Publishers)

Honour Award - Picture Book category

Shaolin Burning
by Ant Sang
(HarperCollins Publishers)

Non-Fiction category winner

Nice Day for a War
by Matt Elliott and illustrated by Chris Slane
(HarperCollins Publishers)


Honour Award - Non-Fiction category

Digging Up The Past: Archaeology For The Young & Curious
by David Veart
(Auckland University Press)


Junior Fiction category winner

Super Finn
by Leonie Agnew
(Scholastic New Zealand)


Honour Award - Junior Fiction category

The Travelling Restaurant
by Barbara Else
(Gecko Press)

Young Adult Fiction category

Calling the Gods
by Jack Lasenby
(HarperCollins Publishers)

Honour Award - Young Adult Fiction

The Bridge
by Jane Higgins
(Text Publishing Company)

About the prizes
Each Category Award winner received $7,500.  The winner of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award took home an extra $7,500.  The winner of the Best First Book Award and the Children’s Choice Award received prize money of $2,000 each.

Each Honour Award recipient received $500. Honour Awards are discretionary and are awarded in recognition of particular features in a book.  

About our sponsors
New Zealand Post is proud to be principal sponsor of the New Zealand Book Awards and the Children’s Book Awards.  New Zealand Post is committed to promoting and assisting literacy in our communities and supporting excellence in literature, and to actively encouraging New Zealanders to read and enjoy books.  Additional funding for the Awards is provided by Creative New Zealand.  

The Awards are overseen by the New Zealand Post Book Awards Governance Group, administered by Booksellers NZ and including representatives of the New Zealand Society of Authors, The Publishers Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Post and Creative New Zealand.

Member Profile: Howick’s Readaway Bookshop

Readaway Bookshop in Howick’s main shopping street is one of the most welcoming bookshops you are likely to find. It may not have the latest shelving or a flash colour scheme, but it is warm and comfortable in a retro style, with stacks of books to explore and a top notch children’s section. It fits the booklover like a comfortable – but still smart – old shoe.

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