Children’s and Young Adults’ book award winners announced!

Last night, at a lavish pizza party, the winners of the 2019 book awards for children and young adults were announced.

Hell Pizza are the main sponsors of the books awards (how many pizza wheels have you completed over the last few months?), and it was really exciting to see the very best New Zealand Authors and Illustrators there hoping to be announced as a winner. All the finalist books are incredible, and us librarians recommend you try to read as many as you can.

There are 8 categories: Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Illustration, te reo Māori, best first book, and the overall best book of the year.


And here are the winners!

It’s really exciting to see Wellington duo Sacha Cotter and Josh Morgan win the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award. Mīharo!

Finalists, finally!

It’s always tough waiting for this one every year. Luckily you can munch on FREE Hell Pizza while you wait.

But.. the wait is over! Today the finalists for the NZ Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards have been announced. These are the best books written or illustrated by New Zealanders in the last year:


Picture Book:

Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter, written by Heather Haylock and illustrated by Lael Chisholm





I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul






That’s Not the Monster We Ordered, written by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones, and illustrated by Richard Fairgray





The Gift Horse, written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White





The Longest Breakfast, written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins






Junior Fiction:

How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot, written by Suzanne Main






How to Bee, written by Bren MacDibble






Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones, written by Fleur Beale (Also available as an eBook)





Dawn Raid, written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith






The Thunderbolt Pony, written by Stacy Gregg (Also available as a Digital Audiobook)







Junior Non-Fiction:

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written by Gavin Bishop






Explore! Aotearoa, written by Bronwen Wall and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews





New Zealand’s Great White Sharks, written by Alison Balance






Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures, written by David Hill and illustrated by Phoebe Morris





The New Zealand Wars, Written by Philippa Werry








Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands, illustrated by Marco Ivančić





Bobby, the Littlest War Hero, illustrated by Jenny Cooper






Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, illustrated and written by Craig Phillips (also available as a eBook)





I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul







Te Reo Māori:

Tu Meke Tūī! Written by Malcolm Clarke, translated by Evelyn Tobin and illustrated by Hayley King (Also available in English)





Hineahuone, written and illustrated by Xoë Hall and translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe, written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and translated by Kiwa Hammond



Check out the YA (and other) categories.


The winners will be announced on August 8th. Stay tuned…

Finalists in The Children and Young Adults Book Awards!

Wow! The finalists have been announced for this years New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and what an amazing line up! It’s so great to be able to celebrate our wonderful home grown talent in Aotearoa so check out some of these books. Oh and don’t forget you can read some of these books as part of the Hell Pizza Challenge and get stamps on your pizza wheels. Yum!

Love Joy Cowley’s books and the snake and lizard series is one of my favourites. Check out their latest hilarious adventures and escapades in “Helper and Helper”.

Tania Roxborogh’s latest book “My New Zealand Story: Bastion Point” is a great way to explore New Zealand history from the perspective of a young girl called Erica Tito, whose parents decide that instead of going on their usual summer holiday they will join the protesters at Bastion Point. A moving and insightful account of real life events through the eyes of a fictitious young girl.



Sent to live with his grandmother in Hastings after his father is jailed, Matt becomes the victim of bad friends and false accusations. Sent off to a military-style school camp in the wilds of lake Waikaremoana, Matt is once again in trouble. Find out more about Matt and the friendships he makes by reading “Sunken Forest” by Des Hunt. This popular author will also be coming to Wellington Central Library on the 11th of July as part of the Beyond the Page festival, more about that on the blog soon!

“The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain” by Julie Lamb tells the story of Summer, who loves to make people laugh, it’s how she fits in. Living with her crazy family she is surprised when Juanita suddenly wants to be her friend… Find out more about Summer and her friends and family when you read this book.



Ever had an imaginary friend? Ben has one called Vincent in “The Impossible Boy”, who has helped Ben survive in the war torn streets which are his home. But can an imaginary friend become real? How powerful is Ben’s imagination. A beautiful and powerful book  to immerse yourself in, by Julie Lamb.

So many more books up for awards so expect more blogs soon. Other categories include: non-fiction, illustration, te reo Māori, picture book, and first book award. So keep those peepers peeled for more exciting reads.

Finalists for the NZ Children’s Book Awards announced

Early this morning the finialst titles were announced for the 2016 Children’s Book Awards. These awards seek to find the best books written fro children in New Zealand in the last year. There are 6 categories – Young Adult, Illustration, Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Te Reo Māori. There are also children’s choice awards for each of the 6 categories – finalists that are voted for by children rather than the book award judges.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday 8th August. You can find out more about the awards at the Booksellers website.

Have you grabbed your pizza wheel yet? Hell Pizza are one of the big sponsors of the awards. Until stocks last, you can grab a pizza wheel from the library. Get each section clicked for each book you read, and once you have completed a wheel (7 clicks) you can exchange the wheel for a pizza. Yum!

Here are the 2016 finalists:

Junior Fiction:

Enemy Camp by David Hill

From the cutting room of Barney Kettle by Kate De Goldi

Lily Max – Satin, Scissors, Frock by Jane Bloomfield

The bold ship Phenomenal by Sarah Johnson

The girl who rode the wind by Stacey Gregg



ANZAC Heroes by Maria Gill

Changing Times: The story of a New Zealand town and its newspaper by Bob Kerr

See what I can see: New Zealand photography for the young and curious by Gregory O’Brien

The beginner’s guide to adventure sport in New Zealand by Steve Gurney

Whose beak is this? By Gillian Candler


Picture Book:

Allis the little tractor by Sophie Siers

Finding Monkey Moon by Elizabeth Pulford

Haka by Patricia Grace

The house on the hill by Kyle Mewburn

Little Kiwi’s Matariki by Nikki Slade Robinson



Changing Times: The story of a New Zealand town and its newspaper Illustrated by Bob Kerr

Finding Monkey Moon Illustrated by Kate Wilkinson

Hush: a Kiwi lullaby Illustrated by Andrew Burdan

Much ado about Shakespeare Illustrated by Donovan Bixley

The house on the hill Illustrated by Sarah Davis



Te Reo Māori:

Tamanui te Kōkako Mōrehu o Taranaki by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington

Te Hua Tuatahi a Kuwi by Kat Merewether

Whiti te Rā! by Patricia Grace


5 Years of Award Winning Kids’ Fiction

Stuck for new book ideas? Try one of these New Zealand Book Awards winners!

2015 winner: Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley

“This is not a story of cotton candy-candy capers. It is a story of gruesome horrors, awful amputations and ghastly ghouls…….. It’s a rough life at sea, so grab a bucket and hold onto your guts. This is going to get really ugly.”



2014 winner: Dunger by Joy Cowley

“William and Melissa have been roped into helping their hippie grandparents fix up their holiday home. They’ll have no electricity, no cellphone reception, and only each other for company. As far as they are concerned, this is NOT a holiday.”



2013 winner: My Brother’s War by David Hill

“It’s New Zealand, 1914, and World War One has just broken out in Europe. William eagerly enlists for the army but his younger brother, Edmund, refuses to fight and gets arrested. Both brothers will end up on the bloody battlefields, but their journeys there are very different.”



2012 winner: Super Finn by Leonie Agnew 

“When Mr Patel asks his class what they’d like to be when they grow up, Finn chooses ‘Superhero’. Finn knows what he needs: superpowers, a hideout, an outfit and….oh, yeah, to save someone’s life. Impossible? Not with a sidekick like the amazing Brian.”



2011 winner: Finnigan and the Pirates by Sherryl Jordan

“Wildbloode the Wicked is the fiercest, most ferocious pirate in all the seven seas. All she wants is for her nephew to follow in her footsteps. But Finnigan’s not interest-all he wants to do is dance!”



Head into your nearest library to find a copy, or reserve one online!

Hell Pizza Reading Challenge

Love pizza? Love reading? Then we have the deal for you!

To celebrate the 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Hell Pizza will give you one free pizza for every 7 books you borrow and read from the library.

Sounds too good to be true? Trust us; we wouldn’t lie to you, especially about pizza.

Here’s the deal…

Pop into your local library and grab a pizza wheel from the friendly librarian. They look like this:

Image pizza wheel


Whenever you issue a book from the library, ask the librarian to click and sign your pizza wheel.

Once you have all 7 wedges on your pizza wheel clicked and signed off, you can take it into any Hell Pizza shop and exchange it for a FREE 333 pizza from their Hellthy menu. Wow!

There’s no limit to how many pizza wheels you can complete, so make sure you ask for another from the librarian. We will keep handing them out until we run out.

Good news! You can use your pizza wheel in both your public and school library. So anything you read from your school library can be clicked off your wheel too.


The finalists for the book awards will be released in early June, and the winners announced in August. So keep your ears to the ground for more news.

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2015 NZ children’s book award finalists announced

Pirates, orcas and penguins leap from the pages of the 22 books picked as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

2015 is the 25th year of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and the judges have just announced a great line up of finalists. These are the best books written by New Zealanders in the last year, so best you go and grab them off the library shelves.

Do you want to help choose the winners in the NZ Children’s Book Awards? Be part of the Children’s Choice voting and have your chance to vote for the NZ books you think are the best.

Picture Books:

Construction by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

I Am Not a Worm by Scott Tulloch

Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper

Keys by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan

Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley



Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes by Fifi Colston

Māori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke

Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill by Debbie McCauley

The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland

Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud


Junior Fiction:

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew

Dragon Knight: Fire! by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley

Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley

The Island of Lost Horses by Stacy Gregg

The Pirates and the Nightmaker by James Norcliffe


Young Adult Fiction:

I Am Rebecca by Fleur Beale

Night Vision by Ella West

Recon Team Angel: Vengeance by Brian Falkner

Singing Home the Whale by  Mandy Hager

While We Run by Karen Healey


Māori Language Award:

Hoiho Paku by Stephanie Thatcher

Ngā Ki by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan (Translated by Kawata Teepa)



Did you know that Prince George will receive a copy of each of the winning books? He’s going to have an amazing collection of great NZ books!

The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday, 13 August at Government House in Wellington.


Winners Announced! Did your favourite win?

At a lavish ceremony on the evening of 15th June, the winners of the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards were announced. The winners are the best books, according to Librarians, that have written and illustrated by New Zealanders in the last year.

(LIANZA – Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa)

Here are the winners:

Russell Clarke Award for Illustration:

Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis (See Paul Beavis in the library during the School Holidays!)


Elsie Locke Award for Non-fiction:

Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke



Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction:

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew



Young Adult Fiction Prize:

Night Vision by Ella West



Librarians’ Choice:

I am Rebecca by Fleur Beale



Te Kura Ponamu for best te Reo book:

Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson

Read books, get pizza.

Poster image

We already know that you love to read. We also already know that you love pizza. So we love this idea that combines both reading and pizza, and we think you’ll LOVE it too.

Every year LIANZA picks and awards the best books for children and young adults that has been published in New Zealand (or by a New Zealander) in the last year.

One of the key supporters of the book awards is Hell Pizza…


(In case you’re curious, here’s how it happens: First the judges (a group of librarians from across NZ) receive a copy of almost every book that has been published, and they read them all. Then they pick the best 5 books in the following groups: illustration, junior fiction, young adult fiction, non-fiction, te reo Māori. They release the list of these finalist books and, finally, they pick a winner for each of the groups.)

Recently LIANZA released the list of finalist books. There are some amazing titles on there and we recommend all of them. We’re not sure how they will possibly pick the winners, but they plan to announce them on June 15th.


As part of the book awards the judges want to reward you for reading.

Visit your local Wellington City Library and grab yourself a Hell Pizza Wheel from the counter. Your pizza wheel will get clicked every time you check out and read a library book (one click per book). Once all 7 segments on the pizza wheel have been clicked, you can take it to your local Hell Pizza shop and exchange it for a 333 pizza from their HELLthy menu range. Once you have completed a wheel you can start on another, and another… until we run out of pizza wheels.

Yes, you read that correctly – read 7 books and get a delicious pizza. So what are you waiting for?


Looking for a good book to read? LIANZA Children and Teens book award finalists announced.

Each year LIANZA Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards picks the best that has been published in New Zealand or by a New Zealander.

Did you know, as part of the LIANZA book awards, you can earn Hell Pizza for reading? Pick up a pizza wheel from your local library and ask the librarian to tell you how it works.

Recently the award finalists have been announced for each category, and here they are:

Russell Clarke Award (for Illustration)

  1. Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis – Scholastic
  2. Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper – Penguin Random House
  3. Have you seen a monster? by Raymond McGrath – Penguin Random House
  4. So Many Wonderfuls by Tina Matthews – Walker Books
  5. Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis – Gecko Press


LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award

  1. I am Rebecca by Fleur Beale – Penguin Random House
  2. The Red Suitcase by Jill Harris – Makaro Press
  3. Singing Home the Whale by Mandy Hager – Penguin Random House
  4. Recon Team Angel: Vengeance by Brian Falkner – Walker Books
  5. Night Vision by Ella West – Allen and Unwin


Elsie Lock Award (for Non-Fiction)

  1. The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland – Makaro Press
  2. A New Zealand Nature Journal by Sandra Morris – Walker Books
  3. Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke – Potton and Burton Publishing
  4. Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster by Debbie McCauley – Mauao Publishing
  5. New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame: 25 Kiwi Champions by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic – New Holland


Esther Glenn Award (for Junior Fiction)

  1. Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley – Scholastic
  2. The Volume of Possible Endings (A Tale of Fontania) by Barbara Else – Gecko
  3. Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew – Penguin
  4. Trouble in Time by Adele Broadbent – Scholastic
  5. Letterbox Cat by Paula Green – Scholastic


Te Kura Ponamu Award (Te Reo publications)

  1. Nga Kī by Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan and Kawata Teepa – Huia
  2. Hui E! by various authors – Huia
  3. Tūtewehi by Fred Te Maro – Huia
  4. Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson – Huia
  5. An early Te Reo Reading Book Series by Carolyn Collis – Summer Rose Books


The judges will pick one winner for each category. The winning titles will be announced on 15th June 2015.