This is just a very limited selection of some great New Zealand novels written for young adults.
- Fleur Beale, I Am Not Esther. Kirby goes to live with relatives who belong to a strict, cult-like religious sect. She struggles to retain her identity and learns that not all her cousins are completely indoctrinated…
- Bernard Beckett, Genesis. It is near the end of the century. Anaximander is being examined in her knowledge and interpretation of history, and through this examination we learn what has happened to New Zealand in the 21st century…
- Paula Boock, Dare, Truth or Promise. The fraught love story of two teenage girls, Louie and Willa.
- Ted Dawe, Thunder Road. Nineteen year old Trace moves from a small town to Auckland, where he hooks up with city-wise Devon… Thunder Road is a novel about friendship, loyalty, love and dodgy dealings.
- Tessa Duder, Alex. Tessa Duder wrote four hugely popular books about Alex, an ace swimmer, attempting to beat the odds and make it to the Olympics. Alex even made it onto the screen.
- Maurice Gee, Salt. Hari, a slave, and Pearl, a member of the Company which has enslaved Hari’s people, join forces in an attempt to save Hari’s father who has been taken to work in the mine known as Deep Salt. Look out for the sequel, Gool, set 16 years on and telling the story of Hari and Pearl’s children.
- David Hill, Duet. Kallum, a blues guitarist, meets classical musician Paige when asked to perform a duet with her. Their relationship progresses until they face an unexpected and intense challenge.
- Sherryl Jordan, The Raging Quiet. Raver is deaf, but his village thinks he’s insane. When Marnie develops a sign language and communicates with him and a relationship develops the villagers think she must be a witch…
- Brigid Lowry, With Lots of Love from Georgia. With Lots of Love from Georgia follows a year of 15 year old Georgia’s life.
- Margaret Mahy, The Changeover. Winner of the Carnegie Medal (very prestigious), The Changeover is subtitled “a supernatural romance”. Fourteen year old Laura’s baby brother becomes possessed by an evil spirit, so Laura enlists the help of Sorry, an older boy in her school who she thinks has supernatural powers.
See also these authors: Ken Catran, Wendy Catran, Kate de Goldi, Vince Ford, Janet Frame, Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, Elizabeth Knox, Jack Lasenby, Graeme Lay, Joanna Orwin, William Taylor, Penelope Todd, Jane Westaway…
For more information about New Zealand authors you can also visit the NZ Book Council website. It has a comprehensive A to Z listing of authors, including brief bios and summaries of their work.