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Joy Cowley Wins NZ Post Book Of The Year Award

Wednesday 17 May 2006

Joy Cowley wins the New Zealand Post Book of the Year award

Joy Cowley has won the New Zealand Post Book of the Year with her novel, Hunter. This novel so impressed the judges for this year's New Zealand Post Book Awards with its power and originality that they singled it out as a tour de force of fiction writing with the potential to become a classic of fiction writing for young readers on the international stage.

The award was presented to Joy Cowley by Prime Minister Helen Clark and New Zealand Post's Chief Executive Officer, John Allen, at the awards ceremony hosted by the Hon. Judith Tizard, Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, at Parliament on Wednesday 17 May.

This year marks the tenth year that New Zealand Post has sponsored the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults. Mr Allen said they were delighted to have watched the awards go from strength to strength over the past decade. "The importance of nourishing children's literature, and therefore encouraging our young people to read, cannot be overestimated," he said. "Books not only impart knowledge but more importantly they enrich the imagination, giving our children the ability to innovate and create."

The judging panel, chaired by Julie Harper, manager of Jabberwocky Children's Bookshop in Auckland, and including writer Graeme Lay and television producer, Carol Hirschfeld, read and debated the merits of 118 books published during 2005 and submitted for these awards. They concurred that New Zealand has a wealth of talented authors and illustrators creating wonderful works for children and young adults. "We were taken on many journeys - journeys that informed us or took us to imaginary, exciting worlds, journeys that made us laugh and cry and appreciate the experience of others," said Ms Harper.

The category winners and honour award recipients in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2006 are:

New Zealand Post Book of the Year:
Hunter by Joy Cowley (Puffin)

Junior Fiction Category:
Hunter by Joy Cowley (Puffin)
Honour Award: Sil by Jill Harris (Longacre Press)

Young Adult Fiction Category:
With Lots of Love from Georgia by Brigid Lowry (Allen & Unwin)
Honour Award: Kaitangata Twitch by Margaret Mahy (Allen & Unwin)

Picture Book Category:
A Booming in the Night by Ben Brown, illustrated by Helen Taylor (Reed Publishing)
Honour Award: Haere - Farewell, Jack, farewell by Tim Tipene, illustrated by Huhana Smith (Huia Publishers)

Non Fiction Category:
Scarecrow Army: The Anzacs at Gallipoli by Leon Davidson (Black Dog Books)
Honour Award: Blue New Zealand: Plants, Animals, Environments - A Visual Guide by Glenys Stace (Puffin)

Best First Book Award:
The Unknown Zone by Phil Smith (Random House New Zealand)

Children's Choice Award:
Nobody's Dog written by Jennifer Beck and illustrated by Lindy Fisher proved a favourite with New Zealand children when it won the coveted Children's Choice Award.

The winner of each category was awarded with $5,000. The winner of the New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award takes home an extra $5,000. The winner of the Best First Book and the Children's Choice Award receive prize money of $1,000 each. The honour awards were presented in each category in recognition of particular features in each book.

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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