New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards


There are four book category awards – Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction. In 2012 the Young Adult Fiction category winner was Jack Lasenby with Calling the Gods. Jane Higgins won the Honour Award with her excellent story of a society divided by a river The Bridge.
This year the 2013 finalists (of the Young Adult Fiction section)  have been selected by this panel of three
Meet the judges

These are the 2013 finalists and we have copies of all of them in the library:

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 Earth Dragon, Fire Hare by Ken Catran

Plot: New Zealand’s forgotten war, fought in the deep green jungles in Malaya. In 1948 Britain and her allies are pitted against Communist terrorists in a struggle for freedom. On opposing sides are Peter Hayes, a young Kiwi soldier, and Ng, a dedicated guerilla. They are enemies, but, as the bitter conflict deepens, both will ask questions. Who fights for freedom? Who is the oppressor?

To find out more about the author and his books click here.

To read a book review click here.



    Into the River by Ted Dawe

Plot: When Te Arepa Santos is dragged into the river by a giant eel, something happens that will change the course of his whole life. The boy who struggles to the bank is not the same one who plunged in, moments earlier. He has brushed against the spirit world, and there is a price to be paid; an utu to be exacted. Years later, far from the protection of whanau and ancestral land he finds new enemies. This time, with no-one to save him, there is a decision to be made…he can wait on the bank, or leap forward into the river.

To find out more about the author and his books click here

To read a book review by Bob Docherty “I think this is Ted Dawe’s best novel to date”  click here

Nature of Ash front cover image_UPDATED_website

The Nature of Ash by Mandy Hager

Plot: Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he’s revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies. As if this isn’t bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world’s two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ of their deadly games. While trying to protect Mikey, along with strangers Travis and Jiao, his fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives and stop the destruction of all the principles he holds dear.

To find out more about the author and her books click here

To read a book review by Ms Esterman, Library and Information Centre Manager at Scots College click here and Graham Beattie click here


Reach by Hugh Brown

Plot: Raised by octogenarian grandparents after his narcissistic mother left to join a retreat centre, Will Clark resents his father, whom he blames for her leaving. Convinced his Year Twelve classmates think he’s a loser, he retreats into the imaginary world of fantasy novels. However, as his first full-contact taekwondo fight looms ever closer, Woody the bull-necked prop starts bullying him, and his grandfather is taken to hospital with suspected cancer. And when his mother returns, his schoolmates begin treating him as if he’s their friend, including Conway, the girl of his dreams. Finally he musters the courage to join his peers, confront Woody, talk to Conway, and accept his parents for who they are.

To find out more about the author click here

To read a book review  by Rochelle Gribble click here


Snakes and Ladders by Mary-Anne Scott

Plot: Finn Fletcher is 16 and lives in a small coastal town with his mother. When his drug-addled father is accused of a hit and run, Finn accepts his grandmother’s offer of sending him to boarding school in Auckland. He meets and falls for Mia, a rich Italian girl who all the lads admire. She gives him a glimpse of her privileged life and invites him to partner her to the ball. Finn tries to keep his messy family background a secret, and to keep up with Mia and the others. As well as adjusting to the private school culture, he has to contend with the bullying and jealousy of Edward O’Neill. Against increasing odds, he makes it to the ball with Mia and from there to the illicit after ball. Alcohol and high-jinks around an unsupervised pool result in a tragedy and this is the turning point for Finn to finally confess the truth about his father’s alleged crime.

To find out more about the author click here

To read what people are saying on Goodreads click here

Having had a look through all these titles, don’t forget to place your vote for the book you would like to see win (at the library counter) and reserve any of the books on display that you would like to read.

Image(s) via Booksellers NZ

Mrs H. 



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