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NZ best books for children and teens

Judges bring diverse skills to the art of judging

New Zealand’s best books for children and teens

Bob Kerr, one of New Zealand’s best-known children’s book writers and illustrators, will convene the panel of judges in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2005. Kerr is joined by specialist children’s bookseller, Julie Harper and popular entertainer, Jackie Clarke.

As a group they bring a wide scope of children’s literary experience from writing, illustrating, teaching and theatre to the job of judging the best children’s books published in New Zealand in the past year. Convenor, Bob Kerr is based in Wellington and has a long list of award-winning children’s books behind him. He is perhaps best known for the Terry Teo series of comic books, one of which was adapted into the television series, Terry and the Gunrunners.

Julie Harper has been working professionally with children’s books since 1994.

She is a specialist children’s bookseller at Jabberwocky Children’s Bookshop in Auckland and an active member of the Children’s Literature Foundation. Jackie Clarke is an Auckland-based entertainer. She has been involved in children’s theatre for over 10 years and is a keen supporter of the Books in Homes scheme.

This high calibre panel of judges was selected by the New Zealand Post Book Awards Management Committee from the range of nominations put forward by literary organisations which have a particular interest in literature for children and young adults. They are assisted by Te Reo Maori advisor Hana Pomare.

The judging panel will spend the next two months reading, discussing and finally selecting 20 of the best from over 100 New Zealand children’s books published during the calendar year ending 31 December 2004. The books are judged in four categories – Young Adult Fiction, Junior Fiction, Picture Book and Non Fiction. These finalists will be announced on 9 February 2005. They will form the focus for a nationwide festival of children’s book-related events beginning on Monday 9 May and culminating in the announcement of the winners across all categories on Thursday 19 May 2005.

Children and teenagers from around New Zealand also get the opportunity to vote for their favourite book, selecting from the finalists, for the Children’s Choice Award. They will also be able to post their own reviews of the finalists on the new official website,

The New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults celebrate quality and excellence in books for children and teenagers. These awards and the festivities which surround them have enjoyed the support of New Zealand Post as principal sponsor since 1997.

New Zealand Post works closely with Booksellers New Zealand to encourage children to read and enjoy books. New Zealand Post is committed to building literate communities through its sponsorship of the Awards. The awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers New Zealand.

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