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NZ Post Book Awards Winners Announced

Finalists Announced - New Zealand Post Book Awards For Children & Young Adults 2004

"New Zealand children's book writing and publishing has never been stronger nor more diverse" say judges of celebrated national children's book awards

The names of the finalists in this country's acclaimed New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2004 have been released. The judges' final selection has been made all the more difficult because, as they unanimously agreed, the quality and the diversity of titles submitted for the awards this year has never been stronger.

Glenn Colquhoun, convenor of the judging panel this year and also a judge two years ago, commented that the junior fiction category in particular had grown stronger. He said that books with a good combination of text and pictures aimed at readers in this age group were becoming more prevalent. He also observed that themes based around historical events and biography were more popular across all categories, with far less of the previous years' focus on 'apocalyptic' stories. Colquhoun was joined on the panel by librarian and children's book specialist Lorraine Orman and by author and literary agent, Barbara Else.

The finalists are:

JUNIOR FICTION For creative writing where the text is the heart of the book, variously suitable for primary or intermediate level students. Juggling with Mandarins by V M Jones (HarperCollins) [Christchurch] The Serpents Of Arakesh: Book One - The Karazan Quartet by V M Jones (HarperCollins) [Christchurch] My Story: Journey To Tangiwai - The Diary Of Peter Cotterill, Napier 1953 by David Hill (Scholastic New Zealand) [New Plymouth] Evil Fred by Kylie Begg, illustrated by Jacob Leaf (Scholastic New Zealand) [Auckland] Fred The (Quite) Brave Mouse by Murray Ball (Scholastic New Zealand) [Gisborne]

NON FICTION For books which present well-authenticated data with consideration given to imaginative presentation, interpretation and style. To The Max: A Teen Reader's Version Of No Mean Feat by Mark Inglis (Random House New Zealand) [Hanmer] A Bird In The Hand: Keeping New Zealand Wildlife Safe by Janet Hunt (Random House New Zealand) [Waiheke Island] The Life-Size Guide To New Zealand Wildflowers by Andrew Crowe (Penguin Books)[Whitianga] Pick Up A Pack: A Guide To Tramping And Camping The New Zealand Way by Keith Olsen (Reed Publishing) [South Otago] I Am An Insect by Dr Simon Pollard (Reed Publishing) [Christchurch]

PICTURE BOOK For books in which illustrations with text carry the impact of the story and where illustrations comprise at least fifty percent of the content of the book. Selafina by Catherine Hannken, illustrated by Trish Bowles (Mallinson Rendel) [West Auckland] Cuthbert's Babies by Pamela Allen (Viking) [Birkenhead, Auckland] Grandpa And Thomas by Pamela Allen (Viking) [Birkenhead, Auckland] Enough Is Enough! by Scott Willis, illustrated by Jenna Packer (Scholastic Australia) [Dunedin] Oh Hogwash, Sweet Pea! by Ngareta Gabel, illustrated by Ali Teo and Astrid Jensen (Huia Publishers) [Kaikohe, Northland]

YOUNG ADULT FICTION For creative writing and suitable for secondary school students of various ages. Lin And The Red Stranger by Ken Catran (Random House New Zealand) [Waimate] Watermark by Penelope Todd (Longacre Press) [Dunedin] Thunder Road by Ted Dawe (Longacre Press) [Mt Eden, Auckland] No Safe Harbour by David Hill (Mallinson Rendel) [New Plymouth] Tiggie Tompson's Longest Journey by Tessa Duder (Puffin) [Auckland]

The winners will be announced on 13 May at a special ceremony in the Grand Hall at Parliament. The winner of each category is awarded $5,000 and the opportunity to win the supreme award, the New Zealand Post Book of the Year worth an extra $5,000.

During the next three months children and young adults nationwide also have the opportunity to select their favourite book from the 20 finalist titles. As in previous years, schools and libraries will be taking the opportunity to encourage their students to read and review the finalists, then submit their vote for the best. This very special award, the Children's Choice Award, is highly coveted by authors and illustrators alike.

>From 3 May 2004, children's books and authors become the focus of a nationwide week of book-related festivities in celebration of the New Zealand Post Book Awards. During festival week finalist authors take to the roads, visiting schools, libraries and bookshops to talk and read to enthusiastic children around the country.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (previously the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards) celebrate quality and excellence in children's books. These awards and the festivities which surround them have enjoyed the support of New Zealand Post as principal sponsor for seven years. 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. Further information about the Awards is available on the official website,

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