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NZ Post and Voting For Children's Book Awards

New Zealand Post Book Awards finalists get the 'thrice over' as school children prepare to cast their votes

Voting is underway for one of New Zealand's most coveted book awards. School children throughout the country are giving the 20 finalist books in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2005, the 'thrice over', as they read, review and then vote for their favourite title in the Children's Choice Award.

They get to make their selection from some of the best children's books, written by leading local authors including Lynley Dodd, Jack Lasenby, Ken Catran, V M Jones, David Hill and Kate De Goldi, published in New Zealand during the 2004 calendar year.

Children's book authors regard this as one of the most exciting of awards to win because it is truly the choice of the children. Ngareta Gabel, the author of last year's Children's Choice Award winning book, Oh Hogwash, Sweet Pea! said that while being a finalist in the Awards was a real thrill and set her on an exciting journey participating in the festival and beyond, winning this award really was the icing on the cake. "Winning the Children's Choice Award was absolutely the best indicator I'd had that children had really loved my book," Ngareta said.

Any child or teenager of school age is entitled to place a vote. They mark their choice on a special voting card available from schools, libraries and bookshops. The book with the most votes wins the Children's Choice Award, and $1,000 in prize money. Voting closes at 5pm on Tuesday 3 May. The winner will be announced during the New Zealand Post Book Awards ceremony at Parliament on Thursday 19 May 2005.

Voting in these awards can also bring a windfall in the form of $1,000 worth of Booksellers Tokens to a school whose pupils have participated. All votes go into a special draw for the opportunity to win.

As well as voting for their favourite book, children are encouraged to write their own review of the book for publication on-line on the official awards website,

Children's Choice Award voting creates an opportunity for children to participate in the New Zealand Post Book Awards, giving them their own 'voice'. It also creates a degree of anticipation and excitement in the lead up to the festival when they might get to meet one of their favourite authors.

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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