June 07, 2017
Strong te reo showing in book awards
The finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced, with five titles in line for the Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written entirely in te reo Maori.
There are 30 finalists listed in six categories – Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction (Elsie Locke Award), Illustration and te reo Maori, as well as a record five finalists for the Best First Book Award.
The convenor of judges, Pam Jones, says many of the books submitted for selection dealt with serious issues including war, teenage pregnancy, surveillance, abuse, homelessness, racial tensions and bullying.
There were also many coming-of-age stories and characters that are living with extended family members, highlighting the meaning of family and love.
Matthew McKinley from Cambridge is in line for best first book for his Wars in the Whitecloud: Wairau, 1843, while Dunedin author and illustrator Mere Whaanga hopes to pick up the picture book prize with Singing Dolphin/Te Aihe i Waiata.
Te Kura Pounamu finalists are:
– author Calico McClintock and illustrator Dominique Ford for Nga Manu Tukutuku e Whitu o Matariki;
– author Maris O'Rourke and illustrator Claudia Pond Eyley for Te Haerenga Maia a Riripata i Te Araroa;
– author Ripeka Takotowai Goddard and illustrator Kimberly Andrews for Tuna raua ko Hiriwa;
– author Maxine Hemi and illustrator Andrew Burdan for Ngarara Huarau;
– Sacha Cotter for Te Kaihanga Mapere.
The winners will be announced on August 14.
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