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News  •  16 February 2024


2024 NZ Booklovers Awards Shortlist

See the Penguin Random House NZ books shortlisted for the 2024 NZ Booklovers Awards



NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2024


The Waters by Carl Nixon

One family. Forty years.

The Waters kids ― practical, athletic Mark; the physically beautiful dreamer Davey; and the baby of the family, Samantha ― have had to face more than their fair share of challenges. 1979 was the year their father sold up the farm and invested all the family’s money in a doomed property development next to the ocean in Christchurch. Is that when 'everything started going wrong', as Mark believes?



NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2024


Good Sports by Stuart Lipshaw 

Be inspired by this collection of true stories about 50 remarkable Kiwi sports heroes: people who have set goals, aimed high and achieved their dreams.A real mixture of well-known and lesser-known stories, this book is about a diverse range of sportspeople (and one horse!) who have achieved against expectations and the odds, and paved the way for others to succeed too.

Lucky Taco by Sarah and Otis Frizzell

In this vibrant new cookbook, Sarah and Otis Frizzell share the Lucky Taco story and over 60 secret recipes. As well as their tried and true classics, you’ll find one-off special editions, the famous Lucky Taco Pink Pickle, Chilli Lime Salt, hot sauces and more. Plus mouth-watering favourites from the Frizzell home kitchen, including Sticky Cider Ribs, The Lucky Burger, ‘R’ Rated Mac ‘n’ Cheese, delectable sweet treats and refreshing drinks.


NZ Booklovers Award for Best Young Adult Fiction Book 2024


Catch a Falling Star by Eileen Merriman 

The compelling prequel to Catch Me When You FallA fifteen-year-old reaches for stardom as he slides into psychosis.

 Even though Jamie Orange has missed out on the part of Shrek in the forthcoming musical production, he’s happy.However, all is not well with Jamie. He can’t sleep, he can’t stop his thoughts. Bouncing between exultant highs and terrible lows, what will happen when this rising star starts to fall?

The Sparrow by Tessa Duder

In September 1840, two ships arrive on the shores of the Waitematā Harbour to establish Auckland, the new capital of New Zealand. Among the settlers on board the Platina is young Harry, travelling alone and determined to return to family in England. But the more immediate challenge is finding food and shelter — and hiding the truth about Harry’s real identity and what was left behind in Van Diemen’s Land.

A powerful historical novel from one of New Zealand’s best-loved YA authors.


NZ Booklovers Award for Best Junior Fiction Book 2024

Below by David Hill

Caught in a tunnel collapse, Liam and Imogen have to use all their wits to survive in this gripping novel for readers eight years and up.

Liam and his classmate Imogen sneak on a forbidden tour of the railway tunnel being drilled through a nearby mountain. Just as they reach the huge tunnelling machine everything goes horribly wrong. When the rocks stop falling and the dust settles, they are trapped, kilometres below ground, in the dark. Water is trickling in and beginning to rise. And nobody knows where they are.

Once Upon a Wickedness by Fleur Beale

An exciting adventure novel for contemporary kids with a fairytale setting, a daring hero and message that you’re never too young and powerless to stand up to tyrants!

What happens when a group of school children, led by the resourceful ten-year-old Dance Violet, dare to ask those in power some hard questions? Find out in this magical novel by the bestselling Fleur Beale, stunningly illustrated by Lily Uivel.



NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children's Picture Book 2024


Lucy and the Dark by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Vasanti Unka

When Lucy makes friends with the Dark she discovers a new and exciting world - but the world is about to discover what it's like without the Dark! A funny and enjoyable bedtime story with a glow-in-the dark cover to encourage lights out!

There Was an Odd Farmer Who Swallowed a Fly by Peter Millett illustrated by Paul Beavis

Peek through the holes in the pages to see what the odd farmer swallows in this favourite nursery rhyme with a pitch-perfect Kiwi twist!

Kiwi kids will love this favourite nursery rhyme with witty words, hilarious illustrations — and a surprise twist at the end!



For the full range of shortlisted books visit the NZ Book Lovers website.

See the full shortlist


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