Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Students Vote in Their Thousands for Best Book

School students around the country are voting now for their favourite book in the celebrated Children’s Choice Award; one of the highlights of the 2009 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Considered by children’s authors to be one of the highest accolades they can receive in New Zealand for their writing, the Children’s Choice Award attracts tens of thousands of school-age voters each year.

Students can exercise their vote power online now at http://www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz/ where they’ll also find a full list of finalists, or by picking up a voting card from their school, library or local bookshop.

Children are encouraged to read and make their selection from the twenty finalist books in this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards. They will be weighing up some of this country’s best contemporary writers along with some new-comers to the children’s book writing scene. On this level playing field, books across all categories compete for one prize.

For example Weta Workshop’s Non-fiction book, The Crafting of Narnia will compete with Young Adult Fiction novel The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi, Joy Cowley’s Junior Fiction book, Chicken Feathers, and picture book Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig by Diana Neild and Philip Webb.

The winner will be decided once voting closes at 5pm on Friday 1 May 2009.

The Children’s Choice Award was introduced in 1997 as a way of giving school-aged children nationwide the opportunity to have a say in this country’s most prestigious children’s book awards. Past winners have included Gaelyn Gordon, Bob Kerr and much-loved writer and illustrator, Lynley Dodd.

The winner of the Children’s Choice Award will be announced at the New Zealand Post Book Awards ceremony at the Auckland Museum on Wednesday 20 May 2009. They will receive $2000, but they’re not the only one to benefit. Once the votes are tallied, one voting card or online vote is randomly pulled ‘from the hat’. The child whose name appears on this vote will win $1000 worth of Booksellers Tokens for their school library.

While the votes are being counted many of the New Zealand Post Book Award finalists take to the road from Monday 11 May, participating in a nationwide festival of children’s books and literature. They will be visiting schools and libraries around the country in the lead up to the awards ceremony on Wednesday 20 May. A full schedule of events will be available on http://www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz/ from mid-April.

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