The finalists in the 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards gathered in Christchurch last night for the awards ceremony. The awards night is always themed and this year the organisers went for a ‘Witch in the Cherry Tree’ theme in honour of Margaret Mahy. The book of the year was also renamed the ‘New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year’ this year. I was nervous myself, hoping that my favourites would take out the award, so I’m sure the authors and illustrators themselves were incredibly nervous. Overall, I was pleased to see a couple of my favourites win awards, but I was disappointed that others missed out. I think that Red Rocks and The Nature of Ash are amazing books and if I could give Rachael and Mandy an award I would.
Read below to find out who won each category, as well as the Honour Book and Children’s Choice Award.
Best Young Adult Fiction and New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year
Into the River by Ted Dawe
100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa by Simon Morton & Riria Hotere
Best Junior Fiction
My Brother’s War by David Hill
Honour award, Junior Fiction
The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A Tale of Fontania series by Barbara Else
Best Picture Book
Mister Whistler by Margaret Mahy & Gavin Bishop
Best First Book
Reach by Hugh Brown
Melu by Kyle Mewburn, Ali Teo & John O’Reilly, Scholastic NZ
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Festival starts on Monday 17 June (that’s next week) and our committee here in Christchurch can’t wait to bring the Festival to the children of Canterbury. The main part of the Canterbury Festival this year is our Roadshow. We’re taking the finalist books on the road and visiting schools and preschools throughout Canterbury, from Ashburton up to Rangiora. We’ll be reading and talking about the finalists and I’ll be stepping in to Mister Whistler’s shoes each day.
We wanted to have a cool way to promote the books to the kids in each of our sessions so we came up with the idea of reading an extract from some of the books. The kids will then have to guess which book the extract comes from. It’s an easy idea that you could use in your classroom or library too. See if you can figure out which 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist book these extracts come from.
- ‘Then came the long metal howl. In the canyon mouth, Hodie saw a bright blur. Next moment a wind-train shot out of the canyon and snaked above the valley floor towards the Depot. Lamps shone at the front. Four large swivelling wings on the engine made it shift this way and that to catch the currents of wind. Larger wings were spaced along three carriages, one of which looked like a dining car, and a van that must be for luggage. Concertina metal cages linked the carriages.’
- ‘All the time, the song raced round and round his head, and his feet tried to dance him round and round the platform.’
- ‘Gorging grubber, larvae-lover, snail-scratcher, beetle-battler.’
- ‘He looked out to sea. He had never been down here at night and he took a moment to enjoy the strangeness of it. In the patches of light, he thought he made out seaweed in the surging water, and something else, floating out there, waiting. Seals! He stood up and shivered in the wind. He heard it again: ‘The skin. Jake.’ A row of seals, their wet heads dark against the sea, watched him, like a row of sentries guarding the sea. Or the beach.’
- ‘The creatures here have to watch out for other hungry animals looking for a meal. Some dig into the sand to escape. Some hide under rocks. Others have clever ways of protecting themselves.’
- ‘We’re safe where we are, but we don’t wait around to speculate, just run like hell until we’re through the gardens and back in town. It’s chaos there. People packing out of offices. Shops boarding up their windows. Lucinda takes her leave of us, promising she’ll keep in touch. All the frantic activity underlines how stuffed I feel, not helped when Mikey whines about being hungry and tired the rest of the way home.’
I hope you all have a great festival week, whatever you may be doing. I certainly can’t wait until the awards ceremony in Christchurch on Monday 24 June to find out who takes out the awards!
Walker Books Australia have so many fantastic books being released this month. From a tale of Ancient Greece, to a story of a girl who wants to act but suffers from stage fright, and even a new book by David Almond and Dave McKean.
Thanks to Walker Books I have a stack of their latest release novels to give to one lucky school. The pack includes:
- That Boy, Jack by Janeen Brian
- Murder at Mykenai by Catherine Mayo
- In the Wings by Elsbeth Edgar
- View from the 32nd Floor by Emma Cameron
- Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones
- Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf by David Almond and Dave McKean
To get in the draw just enter your name and email address in the form below and tell me why your school deserves a stack of books. These books are suitable for ages 9+. Competition closes Wednesday 19 June (NZ only).
Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner is Grace for St George’s School.
I’m really looking forward to reading this one. It looks like a great action-packed read. Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff is out now in NZ from Orchard Books.