NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced


Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.

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‘These are books that all families in New Zealand will enjoy,’ says NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan. ‘Between the three winners, there is a novel that is an excellent piece of storytelling that
takes the reader back in time to New Zealand in the 1950s, a lifestyle book that will be used repeatedly for family celebrations, and a children’s book that is likely to become a favourite and
foster a love of reading.’

This Mortal Boy by Fiona wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019.
The judges say, ‘This novel is a portrayal of a real event in New Zealand, one of the last times the death penalty was invoked. Set in the 1950s, the social climate of the time is beautifully portrayed – conservative, prejudiced against immigrants, and suffering from an upsurge in juvenile delinquency. It is very easy to engage with the characters, especially the central figure, Arthur Black. In 1950s Auckland Arthur’s unfortunate liaisons lead him to a situation which gets out of control. Is he a victim of prejudice and a miscarriage of justice? A well-crafted story that perfectly fits our brief of a book that celebrates the best in storytelling, a book we couldn’t put down.’

Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘Better than a Bought One is not a regular recipe book – it is a valuable addition to any Kiwi home! This is New Zealand’s beloved cook Jo Seagar’s best book yet. Sharing her love of entertaining, Jo inspires readers to celebrate life’s milestones at home. Her focus is on easy, economical ideas to mark everything from birthdays, backyard weddings, baby showers and other life celebrations to Matariki and a casual Kiwi Christmas. Jo deftly shows readers how to create special occasions with minimal effort and maximum impact. Jo’s trademark writing is accompanied by intoxicating photography that ensures readers will repeatedly refer to the book for memorable ideas. A highly pleasurable read that hits our criteria of a book that enriches people’s everyday lives.’

Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘As Puffin the Architect leads her difficult-to-please clients through her past designs – the homes she has planned for Platypus the Baker, Painter Goose and Pilot Moose, amongst others – they see and hear about her wonderful creations, but none are right for them. What is required is a cottage specifically designed for puffins, and “a home built by the sea” is underway. A detail with special appeal that comes at the end of the story is that the architect is their mum. Cleverly written in verse and with wonderfully detailed illustrations, this is a great read-aloud book and one that children will also enjoy reading alone for both the intricacies of the drawings and the ideas of planning a “custom-built” house. A picture book which can be read over many times and used as a creative discussion point for children’s own choices about house designs, Puffin the Architect has a richness, depth and complexity of concepts that will appeal to kids over a wide range of ages.’

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