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New Zealand Book Awards for Young Readers 2022: YA Fiction Award

YA FICTION Award2

Crossing a multiple of genres, this year’s YA Fiction Award shortlist promises an assortment of terrific reading. Click on the titles for catalogue information.

Coastwatcher by David Hill
Frank Benson is caught up in the Pacific theatre of WW2. He’s just nineteen and a radio operator tasked with spying on the enemy in Japanese occupied Solomon Islands. When important information comes to light, can he trust his informant or is he about to fall into a trap? A tense page turner from an accomplished author who has written so many wonderful books and won so many prizes, he’s been awarded an MBE.

Displaced by Cristina Sanders
This novel about a young girl who emigrates from 1870s Cornwall with her family has already won the Tessa Duder Award and a Storylines Notable Book. Eloise and her family aren’t quite ready for the struggle of colonial life with its restrictions and intolerance particularly for women. On the boat out is young Lars and his family who head for Norsewood, bonded to years of tree felling to pay for their passage. The lives of the families interconnect in in this moving story by a local author.

Katipo Joe: Wolf’s Lair by Brian Falkner
Another nail biting instalment in the Katipo Joe series, this story sees Joe in the heart of the Nazi spiderweb, spying on Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. World War Two is well underway, with plans for a German invasion of the USSR, while the Brits want Hitler dead. Faulkner has written a bunch of action packed books for kids and YA, and has a few awards to his name including winning this award in 2016 for Rampage at Waterloo and the Ngaio Marsh Award for YA for his first Katipo Joe book: Blitzkrieg.

Learning to Love Blue by Saradha Koirala
This novel about 18-year-old Paige, a young musician who leaves home for the Melbourne music scene, is the sequel to Lonesome When You Go. Paige has a suitcase and her base guitar, eager to follow in the footsteps of her musical heroes and maybe meet up with Spike her high school crush. Will music and her estranged mother’s copy of Blue by Joni Mitchell be enough to keep her going? Saradha is a Nepali/Pākehā writer now living in Melbourne.

Violet Black by Eileen Merriman
In this the first book of a trilogy, Violet Black and Ethan Wright are both survivors of a deadly measles type virus that attacks young people. Even though they have never met the sinister Foundation wants to hunt them down. This fast-paced novel is set in the near future with intrigue, danger and a bit of teen romance. All three of Eileen Merriman’s previous YA novels have been finalists in this category – can she pull it off this time?

4 July 2022

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