The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards – 2014
Positives: Good to see Zac Harding on the panel – a real children’s book enthusiast and connected to the real target audience – children! Also good to see Ant Sang there. Graphic novels might gain some ground…
Negatives: How come there is still no Middle Grade category – picture book, junior fiction, young adult fiction and non-fiction. This really matters! This important age group, between 11ish and 14ish, are beginning to decide about themselves as readers. They have a very specific set of reading needs and parameters (usually set by the adults around them, because they are still young enough to have no power – see the great passion aroused by last year’s Young Adult winner – Into the River).
We know children often start to drop off their recreational reading at this age if they are not presented with great books that meet their needs as readers. Teachers, school librarians and parents need to feel as though they are not floundering around in a great unknown when they are trying to keep the reading flame alight!
Other countries have recognised this reading category as important, and having its own specific needs – isn’t it time we did?
‘John Beach, associate professor of literacy education at St. John’s University in New York, compared the books that adults choose for children with the books that children choose for themselves and found that in the past 30 years, there is only 5% overlap between the Children’s Choice Awards (International Reading Association) and the Notable Children’s Books list (American Library Association).’
Interesting…I would like to do some research, and see if that is the same here…
Back to the book awards: (For detailed information click here)
And the judges are…
- Barbara Else – children’s author and former nominee
- Ant Sang – cartoonist, graphic novelist and more…
- Zac Harding – children’s librarian and mybestfriendsarebooks blogger
The timeline for the competition is something like this:
|New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists are announced on Tuesday 8 April 2014|
|The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards national Festival of book-related events will run from 17 – 25 May 2014|
|New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards ceremony will be held in Auckland on Monday 23 June 2014|
Don’t forget there is a Children’s Choice Award in each section as well.
What books do you think should be in the short list?
What do your kids think?
I am going to do some research and think about the books I think should be there, and ask some of my fellow Book Loving Kiwis at Goodreads. I’ll be interested to compare short lists on 8 April 2014! Help me out by commenting below…