Skip to main content
Media Releases


By March 16, 2017No Comments

Outstanding books for children and young people published by 
New Zealand authors and illustrators in the previous year.

The Storylines Children’s Literature Trust is delighted to announce the 33 outstanding New Zealand children’s and teens’ books selected for its Notable Books listings for 2017.

The 2017 list, for books published in 2016, is embargoed until 5.00 am, Wednesday 15 March.  You can read the full list below, and see the poster with book jackets here. Thank you for respecting the embargo. The 2017 Notable Books (published during 2016) are:

The Road to Ratenburg by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press)
Annual edited  by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (Gecko Press)
The Diamond Horse by Stacy Gregg (HarperCollins UK)
Rona by Chris Szekely, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia)
Enemy Camp by David Hill (Penguin Random House NZ)
The Impossible Boy by Leonie Agnew (Penguin Random House NZ)
Grandad’s Wheelies by Jack Lasenby, illustrated by Bob Kerr (Penguin Random House NZ)
Barking Mad by Tom E Moffatt (Scholastic)
Sunken Forest by Des Hunt (Scholastic)

See Play Do: A Kid’s Handbook for Everyday Creative Fun written and illustrated by Louise Cuckow (Beatnik)
Bruce Wants to Go Faster by Dreydon Sobanja, illustrated by Murray Dewhurst (Inspired Kids)
Armistice Day: the New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry (New Holland)
Speed King: Burt Munro, the World’s Fastest Indian by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House NZ)
Jack and Charlie: Boys of the Bush by Jack Marcotte (Penguin Random House NZ)
The Beginner’s Guide to Netball by Maria Tutaia (Penguin Random House NZ)
Cricket with Kane Williamson  by Kane Williamson (Penguin Random House NZ)
The Cuckoo and the Warbler: A True New Zealand Story by Kennedy Warne, illustrated by Heather Hunt (Potton & Burton)
ANZAC Heroes by Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic (Scholastic)
Much Ado about Shakespeare written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Upstart Press)

If I was a Banana by Alexandra Tylee, illustrated by Kieran Rynhart (Gecko Press)
Gwendolyn! by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton (HarperCollins UK)
Tuna and Hiriwa by Ripeka Takotowai Goddard, illustrated by Kimberly Andrews (Huia)
Maui – Sun Catcher by Tim Tipene, illustrated by Zak Waipara (Oratia Media)
Gladys Goes to War by Glyn Harper, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Penguin Random House NZ)
Fuzzy Doodle by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic)
Gorillas in our Midst  by Richard Fairgray, illustrated by Terry Jones (Scholastic)
Henry Bob Bobbalich by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Link Choi (Scholastic)
Witch’s Cat Wanted – Apply Within written by Joy H Davidson, illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson (Scholastic)
The Harmonica by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Andrew Burden (Scholastic)
Rasmas by Elizabeth Pulford, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Scholastic)
The Best Dad in the World by Pat Chapman, illustrated by Cat Chapman (Upstart Press)

YA NOTABLES 2017 (2) 
Lonesome When You Go by Saradha Koirala (Mākaro Press)
Coming Home to Roost  by Mary-anne Scott (Longacre | Penguin Random House NZ)

The 33 titles selected represent a mix of many of New Zealand’s well-established authors and a significant number of new authors and self-published books.

“The awards, given since 2000, are a respected yardstick for the best children’s books published in New Zealand each year, an invaluable guide for booksellers and buyers and much prized by authors, illustrators and publishers,” says Dr Libby Limbrick, Storylines Chair.

This annual list of Notable Books also ensures that children, parents/grandparents, teachers, librarians and the public are all made aware of the large range of high quality children’s and teens’ books being published in New Zealand.

The selection panel includes children’s and YA librarians, authors, illustrators, teachers and academics; several members have served as judges for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award (and under its previous sponsor AIM) and the LIANZA Book Awards.

The award certificates will be presented at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal Presentation and National Awards Day in Auckland on Sunday 2 April. 

The Margaret Mahy Medal Lecture will be delivered at the same event.

The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children’s and young adult literature, through their author awards, publications, advocacy and their brand new Storylines National Festival Tour.

For further information please contact:
Lorraine Steele, Lighthouse PR: