A Dunedin author has been shortlisted in the 2014 New
Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
Rachel Stedman is one of five finalists in the young adult
fiction category, for her debut novel Necklace of
Ms Stedman has just finished writing a sequel to the book,
which also won the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for young
adult fiction in 2012 and last month received ''notable book
status'' by the Storylines Children's Literature Charitable
Necklace of Souls has also been shortlisted for the
best new talent category of the 2014 Sir Julius Vogel Awards.
Ms Stedman said it was exciting to be named a finalist in the
''It's kind of unbelievable, really. I was just excited to
get a book published. I never thought I would win two
Ms Stedman said Necklace of Souls was intended to be
the first in a trilogy, and the sequel was with a publisher
The main character - a 16-year-old - and the storyline were
not only popular with young adults, she said.
''I wanted to write the type of book that I liked reading at
that age and ironically it has also been really popular with
kids' mothers, as well.''
Overall, there are 20 awards finalists, five in each category
of picture books, non-fiction, junior fiction and young adult
Judges Barbara Else, Ant Sang and Zac Harding selected
finalists from more than 120 books submitted and were
assisted by Maori language adviser Maraea Rakuraku in
selecting the winner of the inaugural Maori language award -
author Keri Kaa for her book Taka Ki Ro Wai.
Other category winners will be announced on June 23, and all
finalists are subject to the children's choice award, for
which voting opens today.
Book Awards Governance Group chairwoman Nicola Legat said all
finalist books were ''very readable, interesting and fun''.
''They will reach out to both teenagers and much younger
readers,'' she said.
Copies of the five finalist picture books have been inscribed
by the authors for Prince George, and will be sent to
He will receive signed copies of finalist books in the awards
each year, from categories consistent with his age.