2015 Children’s Choice Award finalist list

Children’s choices rule in the newly revamped Children’s Choice Awards in 2015. This year, more than 6,500 children and young adults from 106 schools from throughout the country have selected their own finalists from the 149 books submitted for the Awards. In previous years, the Children’s Choice was made from the judges’ finalist list, rather than from the full number of submitted books.

Nicola Legat, chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, says, “We wanted to hand this section over to the children — for them to decide which books they engaged with and which books they loved, rather than making their choices based on the criteria the judges used to make their decisions. Of the 20 books chosen as Children’s Choice finalists, seven match those on the judges’ list so we’re very much looking forward to seeing the results of how the children’s vote over the next seven weeks.”

Here are the titles that the children selected:

Picture Books

  • I am not a Worm by Scott Tulloch (Scholastic NZ)
  • Little Red Riding Hood …. Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison, illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic NZ)
  • The Anzac Puppy by Peter Millett, illustrated by Trish Bowles (Scholastic NZ)
  • Doggy Ditties from A to Z by Jo van Dam, illustrated by Myles Lawford (Scholastic NZ)
  • Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis (Scholastic NZ)

Junior Fiction

  • Dragon Knight: Fire! by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley (Scholastic NZ)
  • The Island of Lost Horses by Stacy Gregg (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • How I Alienated My Grandma by Suzanne Main (Scholastic NZ)
  • 1914 - Riding into War by Susan Brocker (Scholastic NZ)
  • My New Zealand Story: Canterbury Quake by Desna Wallace (Scholastic NZ)


  • New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame: 25 Kiwi Champions by Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic (New Holland Publishers)
  • Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke (Craig Potton Publishing)
  • The Letterbox Cat & other poems by Paula Green, illustrated by Myles Lawford (Scholastic NZ)
  • A New Zealand Nature Journal by Sandra Morris (Walker Books Australia)
  • Waitangi Day: The New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry (New Holland Publishers)

Young Adult Fiction

  • I Am Rebecca by Fleur Beale (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Night Vision by Ella West (Allen & Unwin)
  • Spark by Rachael Craw (Walker Books Australia)
  • Awakening by Natalie King (Penguin Random House)
  • The Red Suitcase by Jill Harris (Makaro Press)