Saturday, 16 February 2019

BEST New Zealand Books for Young People, published in 2018

Reservoir Road Book Awards for 2018
BEST New Zealand Books for Young People, published in 2018

A. Picture Books: 

Cook's Cook  Gavin Bishop, Gecko

Oink  David Elliot, Gecko

Who Stole the Rainbow?  Vasanti Unka, Puffin

B. Maori Language Picture Books:
Nga Whetu Matariki i Whanakotia [The Stolen Stars of Matariki]   Miriama Kamo, ill. Zak Waipara, tr. Ngaere Roberts, Scholastic

Te Hinga Ake a Maui i Te Ika Whenua o Aotearoa [How Maui Fished up the North Island]  Donovan Bixley, tr. Darren Joseph, Upstart

C. Non-Fiction:
Mozart: the Man behind the Music  Donovan Bixley, Upstart Press

Kate Sheppard: Leading the Way for Women  Maria Gill, ill. Marco Ivancic, Scholastic

Eliza and the White Camellia  Debbie McCauley, ill. Helen Casey, Mauao

Why is that Lake so Blue?  Simon Pollard, Te Papa Press

D. Junior Fiction:
Finding  David Hill, Puffin

Dawn Raid  Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith, Scholastic

The Mapmakers’ Race  Eirlys Hunter, ill. Kirsten Slade, Gecko

E. Senior Fiction:
Ash Arising  Mandy Hager, Penguin

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas  Michael Bennett, ill. Ant Sang, Penguin

Cassie Clark: Outlaw  Brian Falkner, OneTree House

Slice of Heaven  Des O’Leary, Makaro Press

Reservoir Road Book Awards for 2018:
The unrepresentative panel of elderly judges selects the best books published for young people in 2018. 
Their criteria is simply whether a book would encourage the panel to get on their bike and ride from Reservoir Road, Sawyers Bay to the Port Chalmers Public Library in order to borrow it.

Finding the Books:
Any New Zealand bookshop can get these books for you. (If it can’t, it’s not a bookshop.)
Any New Zealand public library will lend you these books.
Either way, you are helping the writers, illustrators and publishers, and encouraging them to produce more good books for young people.

Trevor Agnew   17 Feb 2019

FOOTNOTE 8 August 2019.
I am chastened to report a 100% failure rate in my predictions.
Not one book that I named was a winner!
I still stand by my selections as really good books.
A positive spin would be that there are LOTS of good NZ books out there for young people.

The winners of the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults were announced last night (7 Aug 2019). From 29 semi-finalists, these books were chosen:                                                    

Picture Book: The Bomb, by Sacha Cotter, ill. Josh Morgan
Junior Fiction: The Dog Runner, by Bren MacDibble
Young Adult Fiction: Legacy, by Whiti Hereaka
Non-Fiction: Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle
Illustration Award: The Bomb, by Sacha Cotter, ill. Josh Morgan
Te Reo Maori: Te Haka a Tanerore, by Reina Kahukiwa, ill. Robyn Kahukiwa
Best First Book Award: Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle

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