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Children voting NOW for their favourite book

PRESS RELEASE
FRIDAY 31 MARCH 2006

Children voting NOW for their favourite book in the 10th annual New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Voting for the Children's Choice Award, part of the tenth annual New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, is now well under way. This award was introduced in 1997 as a way of giving school-aged children nationwide the opportunity to vote for their favourite book, selecting from the twenty finalist titles each year. This award is considered by children's authors to be one of the most special tributes they can receive for their writing.

Voting for the award has gone from strength to strength. In 2005, a staggering 37,000 children and teenagers voted in the Children's Choice Award. There were some hot contenders, but the outright winner was The Other Ark by everyone's favourite children's book writer and illustrator, Lynley Dodd.

Deciding which finalist book to vote for this year will be tough for many. This year's finalist list is star-studded with books by some of New Zealand's finest writers such as Margaret Mahy, David Hill, Joy Cowley and Bernard Beckett. There are also books from some exciting newcomers to the art of writing children's books to choose from. Full details of the twenty finalist books in the 2006 awards can be found at http://www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz/ .

As to whom the winner might finally be, we won't know until after the voting closes at 5pm on Tuesday 2 May 2006. Tens of thousands of voting cards have been distributed to schools, libraries, bookshops and selected PostShops nationwide. This year for the first time, online voting has been introduced on http://www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz/ so there's no excuse for not taking part!

The winner of the Children's Choice Award will be announced at the New Zealand Post Book Awards ceremony at Parliament on Wednesday 17 May 2006. They will receive $1000, but they're not the only one to benefit. Once the votes are tallied, one voting card is randomly pulled 'from the hat'. The child whose name appears on this card will instantly win their school $1000 worth of Booksellers Tokens.

While the votes are being counted, New Zealand Post Book Awards finalists take to the road from Monday 8 May, participating in a nationwide festival of children's books and literature in celebration of the tenth annual New Zealand Post Book Awards. They will be visiting schools and libraries around the country in the lead up to the awards ceremony. A full schedule of events will be available on http://www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz/ from 10 April.

New Zealand Post has been a steadfast sponsor of the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults since 1997. Their partnership has seen the awards flourish, growing from strength to strength over the last decade. New Zealand Post's support of these awards reflects their deep commitment to promoting literacy and literature throughout the country. Working closely with Booksellers New Zealand, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community actively encourage New Zealand children to read and enjoy books. For those with limited access to new works, New Zealand Post also purchases and distributes books by the New Zealand Post Book Awards finalists by supporting the Books in Homes programme each year.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers New Zealand.

ENDS

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