As happens every year, right now we’re very excited about the shortlist for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults which was just announced last week! So we’re going to write about the shortlisted books to get you excited too.


Because here on the teen blog we only care about the YA titles in the list, we haven’t included any of the books in the other categories for children. I mean, why should we? BUT if you want to look through the rest of the wonderful shortlisted books of 2024 (ok, I may be contradicting myself here) you should check out our post over on the Kids’ Blog (where they do care about children).

Catch a falling star / Merriman, Eileen
“Prequel to Catch Me When You Fall…Francesca – known to everyone as Frankie – has scored the part of Princess Fiona in the forthcoming musical production. Even though Jamie Orange has missed out on the part of Shrek, he’s happy: The day I found out I was a donkey was one of the best days of my life. He may not be Frankie’s leading man on stage, but he can still try to win her heart. However, all is not well with Jamie. He can’t sleep, he can’t stop his thoughts: My brain was still wired, racing around in circles or spirals or – gah, it was driving me crazy. If only there was a magic switch so I could turn it off. Bouncing between exultant highs and terrible lows, what will happen when this rising star starts to fall?” (Catalogue)

New dawning / Dixon, A. M.
“In book one of this startling new trilogy, we meet Merel, a girl living on a futuristic island in the middle of a sea. Many years have past since the community survived the floods and the severe heat that has forced their forbears to shadow their world.” (Catalogue)

The sparrow / Duder, Tessa
“In September 1840, two ships arrive on the shores of the Waitematā Harbour to establish Auckland, the new capital of New Zealand. Among the settlers on board the Platina is young Harry, travelling alone and determined to return to family in England. But the more immediate challenge is finding food and shelter – and hiding the truth about Harry’s real identity and what was left behind in Van Diemen’s Land.” (Catalogue)

Read as an ebook

Tonight, I burn / Adams, Katharine J
“Thorns, Tides, Embers, Storms, and Ores. All five covens are bound in servitude to the tyrant High Warden of Halstett. Penny Albright is a daughter of the thorn coven, forced to patrol the veil between the realms of Life and Death. Each night, one thorn witch-and only one-must cross the veil by burning at the stake. Each morning, that witch draws on their magic to return. Failure to follow the rules risks the veil and risks them all. But one morning, Penny’s favorite sister Ella doesn’t return. And that night, determined to find her, Penny breaks the rules. She burns in secret. And she discovers that all isn’t as it seems in Life or Death. Her journey leads her to Malin, a devastating lord with too many secrets; to Alice, a mysterious captive prophet; and to a rebellion brewing in the shadows beneath the city. And as Penny’s world splits, she’ll face a devastating choice. Because it’s not just her sister’s life that hangs in the balance. It’s the fate of all magic.” (Catalogue)

Read as an eaudiobook

Tsunami / Wenlock, Ned
“At school, being right isn’t always the right answer. Peter’s bull-headed commitment to the truth has already picked him out as a target for the school bullies. The misfit new girl is a complete badass, but seems as interested in his nemesis, Gus, as she is in Peter, and his parents are too busy bickering to care about any of it. It all feels overwhelming to Peter – like a tsunami is coming and he isn’t sure he can stop it.” (Catalogue)