We want to help create motivated and engaged young readers. This blog is about children's and YA literature (especially New Zealand), literacy research, and ways to get, and keep, kids reading.
On the celeb front of children’s publishing it’s emerged that the last Harry Potter title (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) looks set to become the most pre-ordered book in history. Already topping Amazon’s Bestseller lists (complete with five stars) the faithful over at Wikipedia have an extensive (read speculative) article on the book including this lovely quote from JK Rowling excerpted from a BBC interview.
The finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2007 have just been announced and like last year the short list boasts a variety of themes and topics with New Zealand history a strong player in each category.
This year's judging panel of three children's book experts, convened by illustrator, writer and teacher, Keith Olsen, was impressed with the diversity of subject matter across all four categories. Olsen said that, in the non-fiction category, history and biography were strongly represented with an emphasis on war and war-heroes, while on the other hand, there is even a finalist book about how to make up your own jokes."It was pleasing to see our mountains, bush, marae and other aspects of the New Zealand environment and culture featuring strongly in the picture book category."
And he goes on to note that in the fiction category, "As well as contemporary novels with their drugs, death and divorce, we had science fiction, fantasy and a strong representation from historical fiction with subjects ranging from life on a whaling station, to teenage angst during the New Zealand land wars.”
While the shortlist features a number of established writers - Wellington writer Janice Marriott is a finalist in two categories, there’s also some great emerging talent with a number of first time authors like Ben Galbraith also represented.
Winners will be announced on the 16th of May, while details of up and coming associated festival events can be found here in early April. Good luck one and all, and let the celebrations commence.
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