Since it’s NCEA reading log sort of time I thought a post about where to find records of award winning books might be in order. Here are some of the better-known awards given each year, and one or two past winners for your information. There are many, many more of course – do a bit of searching yourself if these don’t grab your fancy.

The American Library Association awards the Newbery Medal and the Michael L Printz Award each year for children’s and young adults’ novels respectively. There is some crossover between the two (for example, The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal this year), so check past winners of both awards for inspiration.

The ALA also gives the Alex Awards for books that appeal to teens, which we reported on earlier.

The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize – unhelpfully, being a newspaper, they don’t seem to have a site for the award as such, but there’s a list of past winners on the Wikipedia page, including Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now) and Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go).

The Carnegie Medal, named in honour of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish man who apparently loved libraries so much that he established more than 2,800 of them around the world, which is phenominal. Past winners include Meg Rosoff (Just in Case), Philip Pulman (Northern Lights), Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) and Mal Peet (Tamar).

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is given annually to a writer to acknowledge their complete works and their contribution to children’s literature. Margaret Mahy won this award in 2006.

New Zealand Post Book Awards: last year’s winner in the Young Adult category was Salt by Maurice Gee. Other winners were (for example) Bernard Beckett (Genesis and also Malcolm and Juliet) and Ted Dawe (Thunder Road).

Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards: last year this was won by Sonya Hartnett (for The Ghost’s Child). Other winners have been Markus Zusak (The Messenger which is also published as I Am the Messenger) and Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca).

Other awards for general (adult) fiction you might like to check out include:

The Montana NZ Book Awards are New Zealand’s premier book awards (for adults). The winners list reads like a who’s who of New Zealand literature, so there’s definitely something in there worth checking out.

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is probably Australia’s best known book accolade. Tim Winton, one of my (few) literary heroes has won this in the past. Go Tim.

The award everyone gossips about is the Man Booker Prize, which is awarded to writers from Commonwealth countries (plus the Republic of Ireland). Keri Hulme is the only New Zealand writer to have won this, in 1985 with The Bone People.

The Pulitzer Prize is probably the most coveted award in the American book industry. The list of past winners is here.

Finally, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, which Lloyd Jones won for Mister Pip in 2007.

ps: let us know if you’ve got some tough NCEA reading log requirement: we’ll see what we can come up with.