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Teen Fiction sneaks an extra title in LIANZA YA Finalists

10 June 2014

Teen Fiction sneaks an extra title in the LIANZA Young Adult Finalists

The release of the 2014 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards finalists indicates young people’s literature is in very good hands.

The awards, sponsored by HELL Pizza, are uniquely judged by librarians for outstanding children’s literature in New Zealand.

This year’s entries for teenage fiction, framed around ever important rites of passage, are stunning”. It was no easy feat selecting five finalists – we simply had to sneak in a sixth title”, said convenor of the judging panel and manager of Gisborne district libraries Pene Walsh.

“These authors of novels for young adults are not afraid to tackle the tough questions and each has done so magnificently. This is a standout group of novels”.

“After a couple of months being in ‘lockdown’ (my whanau’s name for the time spent reading over 140 entries) it was difficult to put my feet back on the ground” said Ms Walsh.

“It was such a joy and privilege to soar through other realms, real or imagined, to be thrilled at the varied range of themes lacing their way through the fiction entries, to be intimately involved in book characters lives’, dastardly schemes, funny exploits, monumental acts of courage and survival” Ms Walsh said.

Judges were delighted to see publishers backing non-fiction in the print form. Quality productions and a usefulness derived from good research and compilation has resulted in a list of finalists that are a pleasure to take home, to refer to constantly and to share in a way that supersedes an online experience.

For the first time, a book written in te reo Māori has busted out of Te Kura Pounamu awards and found its way amongst the finalists for the Russell Clark award for illustration, along with a field of illustrators that are undoubtedly amongst the nation’s best. To sit alongside these senior illustrators is in itself a triumph for what is one of the few awards in the country recognising quality illustrations in a book.

The LIANZA Children’s Book Awards acknowledge excellence in junior fiction, young adult fiction, illustration, non fiction and te reo Māori.

2014 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards Finalists:

LIANZA Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award
Dunger by Joy Cowley, (Gecko Press)
Brave Company by David Hill, (Penguin Books)
Project Huia by Des Hunt, (Scholastic New Zealand)
Felix and the Red Rats by James Norcliffe, (Random House New Zealand)
A Winter’s Day in 1939 by Melina Szymanik, (Scholastic New Zealand)

LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award
Recon Team Angel, Book 3: Ice War by Brian Falkner, (Walker Books Australia)
Dear Vincent by Mandy Hager, (Random House New Zealand)
When We Wake by Karen Healey, (Allen & Unwin)
Bugs by Whiti Hereaka, (Huia NZ Ltd)
Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox, (Gecko Press)
Cattra’s Legacy by Anna Mackenzie (Random House New Zealand)

LIANZA Russell Clark Illustration Award
Bruiser and the Big Snow by Gavin Bishop, (Random House New Zealand)
Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock, (Walker Books Australia)
Taka Ki Ro Wai by Keri Kaa, illustrated by Martin D. Page (National Treasures Design Ltd trading as Tania & Martin)
The Teddy Bear’s Promise by Diana Noonan, illustrated by Robyn Belton, (Craig Potton Publishing)
Henry’s Map by David Elliot (Random House New Zealand)

LIANZA Elsie Locke Non Fiction Award
Wearable Wonders by Fifi Colston, (Scholastic New Zealand)
Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock, (Walker Books Australia)
The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand, by Paul Adamson, (Random House New Zealand)
Anzac Day, The New Zealand Story, What it is and why it matters by Philippa Werry, (New Holland Publishers (NZ)

LIANZA Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)
Taka Ki Ro Wai by Keri Kaa, illustrated by Martin D. Page (National Treasures Design Ltd trading as Tania & Martin)
Meariki by Helen Pearse-Otene, illustrated by Andrew Burdan, (Huia NZ Ltd)
Pūao (series) Te Pātiki, Te Mānawa, Te Whai, Te Tāmure by Huia Publishers, (Huia NZ Ltd)
Tāhoe: He Pakiwaitara mō Hinemoa rāua ko Tūtānekai by Chris Szekely and Andrew Burdan, (Huia NZ Ltd)
Ngā Kaitiaki a Tama! By Kawata Teepa and Jim Byrt, (Huia NZ Ltd)

For more details on HELL Pizza’s community support visit

Follow the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards:
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Twitter - #lianzacba


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