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Teens entertained by Auckland Authors

Teens entertained by Auckland Authors

What do cars, coca-cola and kakapo have in common? They were all themes of books discussed by guest Auckland authors visiting Pakuranga Library last week.

The Odyssey book panel discussion was packed with a local teenage audience who are all enrolled in The Odyssey teen reading programme. The aim of the free event was to inspire teenagers about reading, and to allow them to meet some real life authors.

Author and graphic designer, Janet Hunt, began with a story from her book, "A Bird in the Hand", which she wrote and designed. It is a collection of stories, photographs and information about NZ endangered bird species, and won this year's NZ Post book award for non-fiction. Ms Hunt has also authored and designed the biography of poet Hone Tuwhare.

Junior Fiction writer, Brian Faulkner grabbed the audience attention using humour and theatrics, to describe how his character Henry, in the novel "Henry and the Flea" secured a place in the NZ Warriors team. He also told of Fizzer, the young protagonist in his novel "The Real Thing" about a young coca-cola connoisseur.

Ted Dawe, English teacher and author of "Thunder Road", told of the reluctant boy readers in his class who inspired him to write a novel. And the subject matter? Cars, breaking the law and girlfriends, the things Mr Dawe's students said they wanted to read. After his first draft, Mr Dawe gave it to his students, who gave him essential feedback about what Honda cars can and can't do, and the latest slang. Including teenagers in his writing, not only gave his story teenage appeal, but his writing appealed to the NZ Post judges who awarded it first place in the teenage fiction section.

The author talks were followed by questions from the audience, and free pizza.

The Odyssey teen reading programme is sponsored by OPSM. Those enrolled in The Odyssey can get free eye checks from the OPSM Westfield Manukau store, and win other great prizes. The Odyssey is run by Manukau Libraries and partner libraries throughout New Zealand until August 8th. To find out more, pick up an entry card from your local library or visit www.theodyssey.co.nz

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