Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Students Vote in Their Thousands for Favourite 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 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s 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-aged voters each year.

Students can exercise their voting power online now at 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 Children’s 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 Christine Fernyhough and John Bougen’s Non-fiction book, Ben & Mark: Boys of the High Country will compete with Young Adult Fiction novel Brainjack by Brian Falkner, Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop’s Junior Fiction book, Friends: Snake and Lizard, and Picture Book Old Hu-Hu by Kyle Mewburn and Rachel Driscoll.

The winner will be revealed once voting closes at 5pm on Friday 30 April 2010. 

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 Children’s Book Awards ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall on Wednesday 19 May 2010.  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 Children’s Book Awards finalists take to the road from Monday 10 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 19 May.  A full schedule of events will be available on www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz from mid-April.

New Zealand Post has been supporting the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards since 1997 to help promote literacy and literature throughout the country. The partnership has seen the awards flourish, growing from strength to strength over the last decade. Working closely with Booksellers NZ, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community actively encourage New Zealand children to read and enjoy books. For those with limited access to new works, New Zealand Post also purchases and distributes books by the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists by supporting the Books in Homes programme each year.

The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers NZ.

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