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Power to the Pupils


For immediate release
3 April 2008
Power to the Pupils

School students around the country have an opportunity now to use their own ‘pen power’ by voting for their favourite New Zealand children’s book in the celebrated Children’s Choice Award organised in conjunction with the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.

Considered by children’s authors to be one of the highest accolades they can receive in New Zealand for their writing, the Children’s Choice Award attracts more than 35,000 school-age voters each year.

Students can exercise their vote power online at where they’ll also find a full list of finalists or by picking up a voting card from their school, library or local bookshop.

Children are encouraged to read and make their selection from the twenty finalist books in this year’s awards. They will be weighing up some of this country’s best contemporary writers along with some new-comers to the scene of children’s book writing. On this level playing field Maurice Gee’s senior fiction novel, Salt competes against picture books like Ruth Paul’s, The King’s Bubbles.

The winner will be decided once voting closes at 5pm on Thursday 1 May 2008.

The Children’s Choice Award was introduced in 1997 as a way of giving school-aged children nationwide the opportunity to have a say in this country’s most prestigious children’s book awards. Past winners have included Gaelyn Gordon, Bob Kerr and much-loved writer and illustrator, Lynley Dodd.

The winner of the Children’s Choice Award will be announced at the New Zealand Post Book Awards ceremony at the Wellington Town Hall on Wednesday 21 May 2008. They will receive $2000, but they’re not the only one to benefit. Once the votes are tallied, one voting card or online vote is randomly pulled ‘from the hat’. The child whose name appears on this vote will win $1000 worth of Booksellers Tokens for their school library.
While the votes are being counted many of the New Zealand Post Book Award finalists take to the road from Monday 12 May, participating in a nationwide festival of children’s books and literature. They will be visiting schools and libraries around the country in the lead up to the awards ceremony on Wednesday 21 May. A full schedule of events will be available on from mid April.

New Zealand Post has been a steadfast sponsor of the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults since 1997. Its 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.



For a full list of finalists and bio details please visit

There are photographic opportunities at schools near you – contact the media co-ordinator for further information.

Thursday 1 May Children’s Choice Award voting closes
Monday 12 May Festival week begins with finalist writers on tour
Wednesday 21 May Awards ceremony in Wellington – winners announced

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