Finalists announced for the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards

The LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) children’s book awards finalists have been announced.

Basically these are New Zealand librarians recognising the best books that have been published for children and teens in the last year.

The awards are separated up into 5 categories: best junior fiction (the top book wins the Esther Glen Medal), best illustration (The winner gets the Russell Clark Award), best non-fiction (the winner gets the Elsie Locke Award), best book written in te reo Maori (Te Kura Pounamu Award), and there is also a prize for the top teen book too.

The finalists for each category have just been announced (check them out below). A winner will be chosen from the finalists in each category, which will be announced at a sparkly awards ceremony on August 5th in Wellington.

Hot fact: The Esther Glen Medal for Junior Fiction is the oldest book award in New Zealand. It was first awarded in 1945 – that’s 68 years ago!


LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal

The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A tale of Fontania by Barbara Else

The Drover’s Quest by Susan Brocker

When Empire Calls by Ken Catran

Red Rocks by Rachael King

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate de Goldi

Lightning Strikes: The Slice by Rose Quilter (We don’t have this in the libraries yet. Check back later)


LIANZA Illustration Award – Russell Clark Award

The Dragon Hunters by James Russell, illustrated by Link Choi

Mister Whistler by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Kiwi: The Real Story by Annemarie Florian, illustrated by Heather Hunt

Blue Gnu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Daron Parton

Melu byKyle Mewburn, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly

A Great Cake by Tina Matthews



LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal

At the Beach: Explore & Discover the New Zealand Seashore by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler

Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes by Maria Gill

100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa by Simon Morton and Riria Hotere,





Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)

Hautipua Rererangi story by Julian Arahanga, illustrated by Andrew Burdan

Ngā Waituhi o Rēhua by Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira

Arohanui by Huia Publishers, illustrated Andrew Burdan (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Ko Meru by Kyle Mewburn, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly  (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Taea ngā whetū by Dawn McMillan, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Keinyo White