Author: Juliet Thomas

October School Holidays – Week One

It’s the October School Holidays! No doubt your tamariki are super excited, but if you’re wondering how to keep them entertained, the Library is here to help you! We’ve got activities happening in our Community Libraries and at the Central Library on the Square. From author visits, the Brazilian Kids Film Festival, grab-and-go bags, and a NEW reading challenge, we’ve got loads to pack the first week of your school holidays.

All through the holidays

Look Up! Explore Our Universe! Reading Challenge

From 1 to 31 October, blast into a new reading challenge to celebrate International Space Week 2022. With NASA at My Library, explore and read about the universe at your own pace, and earn online badges along the way.

Find out more and sign up here.

Saturday 1 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: O Menino no Espelho/ The Boy in the Mirror

Central Library; Ground Floor, 3:30-5:30pm

Fernando is a kid who lives all his fantasies in an intense way and with lots of imagination. Together with his friend Mariana and his dog Capeto, he commands a secret society and solves great mysteries like a ‘haunted house’.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

Monday 3 October

Grab and Go Activity Pack: Give Me Some Space

Central Library; Main Desk, first floor.

Blast off the school holidays by celebrating International Space Week. Create your own planet and rock your own rocket!

Aimed at ages 5+

*Grab and Go packs are available in limited numbers

Tuesday 4 October

Pop-up Play with Sport Manawatū

Te Pātikitiki Library; 157 Highbury Ave, 2-3:30pm

Let’s have some fun in our local parks with the crew from Sport Manawatū.

Don’t forget to slip, slop and wrap!

Canine Friends Pet Therapy Visit

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 2-3pm

Come read to our dog pals from Canine Friends Pet Therapy. They’re excellent listeners!

Wednesday 5 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: O Cavaleiro Didi e a Princesa Lili/ The Knight Didi and Princess Lili

Central Library; Mezzanine, 10:30am – 12:00noon

Didi plays King Lindolfo’s groom and valet, a faithful servant to the royal family. After the King’s death, his evil brother Jafar tries to seize the throne.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

Te Pātikitiki Rocks!

Te Pātikitiki Library, 57 Highbury Ave. 11am – 12:30pm.

Rock painting for all. We have all the stuff, so come along and paint up some rocks with us.

Please bring stones to paint if you have them.

Free event.

Thursday 6 October

‘Monarchs of Aotearoa’ with author Erin Willson @ Central

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 10–11am

Join visiting author Erin Willson and celebrate the magical Monarch butterfly and the unique story of their journey to Aotearoa. With a very special story time, you’ll also learn how you can care for Monarch butterflies in your garden and take home your own swan plant seedling.

‘Monarchs of Aotearoa’ with author Erin Willson @ Te Pātikitiki Library

Te Pātikitiki Library, 57 Highbury Ave, 2 – 3pm

Join visiting author Erin Willson and celebrate the magical Monarch butterfly and the unique story of their journey to Aotearoa. With a very special story time, you’ll also learn how you can care for Monarch butterflies in your garden and take home your own swan plant seedling.

Friday 7 October

Freaky Friday – Give Me Some Space! Story Time

Central Library; Children’s Zone, 10am – 11am

Board the spaceship and travel to new spaces and places with stories from Planet Library.

*Bring your Hell Reading Pizza Wheels along to do a book chat after or grab a wheel to start.

Aimed at ages 5+

Saturday 8 October

Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival: Taina 2, A Aventura Continua/ Taina 2: A New Amazon Adventure

Central Library; Ground Floor, 3:30pm – 5:30pm

The young warrior Indian Taina must battle against biopirates. She is joined by a new boy from the big city and an Indian girl who wants to follow her steps as a protector of the jungle.

Find out more about the Brazilian Kid’s Movie Festival.

We hope you have a blast in the first week of the school holidays, and we’re looking forward to seeing you here soon!

Māori books for Pakeke Adults

It’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, and we dived into the library catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you immerse yourself in te ao Māori – this week and beyond. Even if you can’t yet speak te Reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te Reo Māori.

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori)

Witi Ihimaera : his best stories

A definitive collection by one of New Zealand’s best loved Māori authors, Witi Ihimaera.  Rua tekau mā whā stories,  spanning more than toru tekau mā rima years.

Find it in the library.

Wars without end / Ngā pakanga whenua o mua New Zealand’s land wars: a Māori perspective by Danny Keenan.

From the earliest days of European settlement in New Zealand, Māori have struggled to hold on to their land. Tensions began early, arising from disputed land sales. When open conflict between Māori and Imperial forces broke out in the 1840s and 1860s, the struggles only intensified. For both sides, land was at the heart of the conflict, one that casts a long shadow over race relations in modern-day New Zealand. ‘Wars without end’ is the first book to approach this subject from a Māori point of view.

Find it in the library.

Māori oral tradition is the rich, poetic record of the past handed down by voice over generations through whakapapa, whakataukī, kōrero and waiata. Jane McRae reveals some of this in Māori Oral Tradition: He Kōrero nō te Ao Tawhito.

Find it in the library.

FFor thousands of years, Māori tohunga passed closely guarded knowledge to new generations of tohunga, using only an orally coded system. Rua rau years ago, they started recording that knowledge into secret manuscripts. These secret manuscripts are revealed here.

These secret manuscripts are revealed in Mariko B. Ryan’s Infinite threads: 100 indigenous insights from old Māori manuscripts.

Find it in the library.

Discover traditional Māori philosophy through 52 whakataukī – simple, powerful life lessons, one for every week. With Aroha: Māori Wisdom for a Contented Life Lived in Harmony With Our Planet, by Hinemoa Elder.

Find it in the library.

Learning te Reo

We have resources suitable for all ages, to support you on your te Reo learning journey.  We recommend learning in person for the best experience and introduction, and books can help support that.

Scotty Morrison’s Māori Made Easy Workbooks/Kete are for everyday learners of the Māori language. The 8 workbooks, each one building on the former. We have plenty of copies available in both the City and Community libraries, or online through BorrowBox. You just need to log in with BorrowBox using your library card number and pin, and you’re away!

Find them in the library.

A Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo by Hēmi Kelly is a simple, effective and fun Maori dictionary for all New Zealanders.

It offers an easy, instant and motivating entry point into the Maori language. We have four physical editions and availability on Borrowbox and as an Adobe e-pub. Find them in the library.

First thousand words in Māori is a great way for anyone of any age to build their vocabulary. If you’re a very visual learner, you’ll love the colourful graphics featured in this fun dictionary.

Find it in the library.

For more book suggestions, check out our suggestions for tamariki/ children and rangatahi/ youth. Ka kite anō!

Future Living Skills

Would you and your whanau like to be more sustainable in your daily lives?

There are some very good reasons to take up sustainable practices.  Not only are they kinder to our climate and planet, but they will often save you money and have multiple health benefits too.

The journey towards sustainability can be much easier with the support of others and reliable information at hand.  With that in mind, Environment Network Manawatu (ENM) is offering a new series of workshops on practical sustainability known as “Future Living Skills”.  This series follows on from three successful series held by the Palmerston North City Council last year.   

Facilitated by experts from the community and the council, the 8 workshops are based on freely available learning guides. Topics range from growing your own food, to travel options, minimising waste, eco-building, community resilience, and more! 

Friendly and informal, the workshops are a great opportunity to learn from others in the room, as well as sharing your own ideas, challenges and tips.  What do you know that you’d like to share? 

You will also hear about some local sustainability initiatives, such as the new Repair Café, the Plastic Pollution Challenge, the Manawatū Food Action Network, and many other local opportunities for connecting with others who are making a practical and positive contribution to our community and environment. 

Future Living skills is hosted by the City Library and run by ENM.

Are you interested?  We’d love to have you join us!

To find out more or register visit https://enm.org.nz/news-1/future-living-skills, or check out ENM’s Facebook event and page.  Please note that numbers are limited and pre-registration is required (at the link above). Confirmation of the dates sessions will be sent to you..

Registration costs $40 but this fee is optional.

Future Living Skills was developed collaboratively by local government in NZ and is supported by Palmerston North City Council.  It is published by an independent charity called Sustainable Living Education Trust – www.sustainableliving.org.nz   

Any questions, please email Sally Pearce at support@enm.org.nz

The Gautam family, Chida, Chiteeze, Phampha, Salafa and Saafal, planted veggies, flowers and a plum tree.      

Māori content for Rangatahi Youth

This Te Wiki o te Reo Māori we dug into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you immerse yourself in te ao Māori. Even if you can’t yet speak te reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te Reo Māori.

We also have some great Aotearoa New Zealand books encompassing te ao Māori into the storylines, and even in te reo Māori. Here’s some of our team’s picks for rangatahi to check out.

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori)

Aotearoa New Zealand stories

The Pōrangi Boy ko Shilo Kino

Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government plan to build a prison here and destroy the home of the taniwha, which has has divided the community. Some are against it, but others see it as an opportunity. Niko is worried about the land and Taukere, but who will listen to him? He’s an ordinary boy who’s laughed at, bullied, and called pōrangi, crazy, for believing in the taniwha.

Find it in the library.

Bugs ko Whiti Hereaka

Meet Bugs: smart, sarcastic, sixteen and stuck in a small town without a driver’s licence. Bugs has been best mates with Jez forever; they’ve always been Jez and Bugs, Bugs and Jez. That is until Stone Cold, the new girl, arrives in town. The year was already going to be a challenge without adding spoilt, bitchy Stone Cold to the mix. Why would anyone want to be mates with her? But things are never as they seem on the surface – not the picture-perfect postcard views of Taupō, not the drama-queen antics of Stone Cold, not the quiet brooding of Jez. Not even Bugs. Now, as the future closes in, each will struggle with expectations: either trying to live up to them or trying to live them down.

Find it in the Library.

Huia short stories : Contemporary Māori fiction

Diverting, beautiful, strong: these stories could come from no other country. Selected to highlight new fiction from accomplished Maori writers.

Search all of the Huia collection.

Cuz ko Liz Van der Laarse

River is offered the chance to crew on his uncle’s trawler — a coastal trip to get a new engine. He finds his cousin Huia annoying — she’s all about Māoritanga while he can’t even speak the language. When an accident leaves the two cousins stranded on the coast of Fiordland they must work together to save themselves.

Find it in the library.

Kia kaha : a storybook of Māori who changed the world ko Stacey Morrison

A collection of true stories about amazing Māori who have achieved incredible things. Each of them blazed a trail in their own way, and this pukapuka was written to show that with your kura huna, your special gifts, you can make a difference too.

Find it in the library.

Wāhine toa : omniscient Māori women

The creation myths of the Māori are profoundly beautiful. They speak to us directly about birth and death, and about love – between man and woman, mother and child. In this remarkable body of work depicting the eight principal female protagonists in the myths – from Te Pō, the darkness before the world and all being, to Hinenuitepō, the goddess of death who claimed Māui as she claims the least daring of man.

Find it in the library.

Stories in te reo Māori

Tūtewehi, ko Fred Maro

“Arā tētahi patupaiarehe rerekē rawa atu. Ko Tūtewehi tōna ingoa. He hautipua, he whakahīhī hoki. Arā kē atu a Matakairangi. He patupaiarehe anō. He hoa rānei, he hoariri rānei ki a Tūtewehi? Ehara te ao patupaiarehe mō te tokorua rā. Kotahi noa iho o rāua ka toa, ka ora. Engari ko te pātai ia, ko Matakairangi rānei? Ko Tūtewehi rānei?

Find it in the Library.

Te kaieke tohorā/ The Whale Rider ko Witi Ihimaera

The whale rider was Kahutia Te Rangi, Ancestor of the people of Te Tai Rāwhiti. Then there was Kahu. The first great-grandchild of the whānau, she was loved by all her relatives except the one whose love she needed most – her great-grandfather.

Available in te reo Māori and English.

Graphic Novels


Wars in the Whitecloud : Wairau, 1843 ko M. H. McKinley

In a small clearing of land nestled within the Wairau valley two peoples met; the recently established settlers of Nelson, and the governing tribe of that region – the renowned Ngati-Toa. When they marched, both sides were prepared for confrontation… yet they weren’t expecting that their actions would drastically alter the future of the nation.

Find it in the Library.

Arohanui : revenge of the fey ko Andrew Burdan

A story of two hostile tribes: one thriving, the other starving and forced to enter into a hard bargain to survive. In the midst of the conflict, two lovers from opposing tribes, Kahu and Kuratawhiti, plan to bring their warring tribes together through their marriage. But tragedy looms as Kahu defends his beloved Kuratawhiti against his treasured sister, Mira, who unleashes a lifetime of rage on Kuratawhiti and her people

Available in English and te reo Māori.

Find the sign, earn a takawai (waterbottle)

As part of our celebration for Mahuru Māori, and continuing te wiki o te reo Māoria bit more, we have a special challenge for you. The library has signs in te reo Māori across all of our floors. Your challenge is to find the sign to earn a takawai – a drink bottle.

Find the right sign on the right day from 14 – 20 September between 2pm – 3pm. One of our kaimahi will be waiting nearby, and when you tell them the sign, you win a takawai!

The sign for Wenerei – Wednesday (14 September) is: Nau mai haere mai ki Te Ara Whānui o te Ao. Found on the Welcome Wall, Mezzanine Floor

The sign for Tāite – Thursday (15 September) is: Kōpae Ataata/Movies. Found in the Sound and Vision area, Mezzanine Floor.

The sign for Paraire – Friday (16 September) is: Kaupapa Māori. Found in Heritage, Second Floor

The sign for Hātarei – Saturday (17 September) is: Kia Ora/Hello. Found on the First Floor

The sign for Rātapu – Sunday (18 September) is: Ō Pukuhohe/Humour. Found in the Children’s area, First Floor.

The sign for Mane – Monday (19 September) is: maru āhuru mōwai/your living room. Found in the Sound and Vision area, Mezzanine Floor.

The sign for Tūrei – Tuesday (20 September) is: pukapuka hou/new books. Found in the Fiction area, First Floor.

Good luck, and we’ll see you between 2-3pm with your takawai!

Māori content for Tamariki Children

Ngā pukapuka o te Ao Māori (Books of Te Ao Māori) – Tamariki/ Children

This Te Wiki o te reo Māori we dug into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions to help you and your whānau immerse yourselves in te ao Māori. Even if you can’t yet speak te reo, Palmerston North City Library has resources to support your use of te reo Māori. We dived into the catalogue to find some ka pai suggestions for tamariki and beginning (to intermediate) learners of te reo and for reading skills. Research shows that reading and listening is an important part of acquiring a new language, so reinforcing what you learn with a book will help you in the long term. You can even make it a family activity to practice reading and listening with a story time habit of reading a book in te reo Māori!

Here’s a few fun book ideas to get you started:

First words


The Māori picture dictionary : Papakupu whakaahua ko Margaret Sinclair

Contains illustrations for over 1400 of the most common words used in daily life. Find it in the Library.

Also see Peppa’s first 100 Māori words and First thousand words in Māori

For early readers

Tere Rawa/ So Fast by Pam Holden

Kei te pai koe ki te haere tere rawa?

He aha ka haere tere rawa?

Tirohia ēnei mea e haere tere rawa.

Do you like going fast?

What can go very fast?

Look at these things going fast.

Kei Te Hiakai Koe? Are You Hungry by Pam Holden

Ke te haikai koe? Rocket Readers

E pai ana koe ki ngā kai tino reka?

Te namunamua!

Do you like delicious food?

Yum!

There are 12 editions of the Red Rocket Readers storybooks in Te Reo Māori, available online with the Libby app for free using your library card.


Ki te moe Aotearoa, ko Donovan Bixley

An engaging story of bedtime for all the animals around New Zealand being put to bed by their parents.

Find it in the Library.


Ko tōku māmā te kuini o te rori ko Jennifer Beck

This is the te reo Māori edition of My Mum is Queen of the Road. Ari and Isabella play with trucks and diggers, making roads in a sandpit. Ari tells Isabella that his mother is a roadworker who works the Stop/Go sign and is called Queen of the Road. Isabella tries to work out why she is a queen. Does she wear diamonds? Does she sit on a throne? Does she have a corgi?

Find it in the Library.

Arewhana Hunahuna ko David Barrow

A te reo Māori edition of this internationally bestselling picture book.

Kei te hia hunahuna a Arewhana. Nau mai, whakapiri mai! Otirā kia kaha koe – ka KINO tana pai!

A small boy and his elephant play an absurd game of hide and seek in this beautifully illustrated picture book that will have young readers shouting out loud in delight, and adults laughing too, as Elephant hides, in full view.

Find it in the Library.

He wheke wai mamangu au, ko Stephanie Thatcher

Join good friends, Inky and Jellyfish, as they play a spirited game of tag amongst the creatures and plants of the ocean.

Available in English and te reo Māori

For intermediate readers

Atua : Māori gods and heroes ko Gavin Bishop

Before the beginning there was nothing. No sound, no air, no colour: nothing. TE KORE, NOTHING. No one knows how long this nothing lasted because there was no time. However, in this great nothing there was a sense of waiting. Something was about to happen. Meet the gods, demigods and heroes of the Māori world, and explore Aotearoa’s exciting legends from the Creation to the Migration.

Find it in the Library.

Mokopuna Matatini, ko Pania Tahau-Hodges

It’s national kapa haka competition time again, and this Māori performing arts festival is a big event! It needs planning, tactics and dedication – and that’s just for the people watching! Nan’s a hardcore kapa haka follower, and she shows her mokopuna all the tricks to get the best seats, find the choicest pāua and whitebait fritters, hunt out the coolest poi and pounamu, and meet the star performers. And all along, Nan’s keeping a big secret!

Find it in the Library.

The Astromancer : the rising of Matariki, ko Witi Ihimaera

The Astromancer is looking for four new apprentices to learn about Matariki and the Maramataka calendar. She chooses three boys and an orphan girl, Aria, who will come only if she can bring her smelly dog. Aria, though, is bored by the lessons, and she doesn’t want to be told what to do. But these are dangerous times, and Ruatapu the Ravenous is about to threaten the safety of the whole tribe. Will Aria step up to save them?

Available in both English and te reo Māori.

Te rātaka a tama hūngoingoi : te hautaka a Greg Heffley, ko Jeff Kinney

Being a kid can really stink. And no one knows this better than Greg Heffley. In this brilliant translation of Jeff Kinney’s bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Heni Jacob, twelve year old hero Geoff Heffley is the Tama Hūngoingoi (Wimpy Kid) of the title. He tells us all about his life in te reo Māori.

Find it in the Library.

Hewa, ko Darryn Joseph

Hewa is about a boy who wants to help protect his family and friends. It involves American military software, a futuristic battleship called the USS Barack Obama, and artificial intelligences gaining sentience and self determination. Told in te reo Māori.

Find it in the Library.

Battle at the Gate: the story of the Battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga, New Zealand. by Jenny Jenkins.

A historical fiction for primary age children, Battle at the Gate tells a story of a young Māori woman who tended the British soldiers wounded at the battle of Gate Pā.

Find it in the Library.

Kia kaha : a storybook of Māori who changed the world ko Stacey Morrison

Kia Kaha is a collection of true stories about amazing Māori who have achieved incredible things. Each of them blazed a trail in their own way, and this pukapuka was written to show that with your kura huna, your special gifts, you can make a difference too.

Find it in the Library.


I waho, i te moana ko Yvonne Morrison

Out in the moana, underneath the sparkling sun, lived a mother sea lion and her little pup. A playful retelling of the much-loved traditional story, Over in the Meadow.

Available in English and te reo Māori.

This is just a selection of content available to borrow at Palmerston North City Library. Pay us a visit and chat with our friendly team to discover a range of books to suit your learning needs – regardless of age.

A Chat with Tim Saunders

Manawatū farmer and poet Tim Saunders is coming to the Library as our guest author for Off The Page on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd September. On Friday Tim will discuss his work and books with (also a) poet and farmer Janet Newman. On Saturday he is hosting a poetry workshop. Registrations are open to attend the workshop – contact genny.vella@pncc.govt.nz to book your seat.

We asked Tim a few questions about his life and work to get the conversation started:

PNCL: You mention some great dog names in the article on The Spinoff. What’s the best dog name you’ve heard?

Tim: Most working dogs need a short, sharp name that rolls off the tongue easily. We have Sam at the moment, and before him we had Chip and Zing and Boss and Pete. Dad once bought a dog called Phillip, but had to change its name to Pip because yelling “Go away back Phillip” was too much of a mouthful. I also knew a shepherd once who named every single dog he owned Ned. He ran a pack of around 10 working dogs, and we were inundated with dogs whenever he shouted “Get in behind Ned.”

PNCL: When drafting sheep, do you count them in multiples? (eg. fives? twos?) Does that affect the rhythm of your poetry?

Tim: Dad used to tell me to count their legs and then divide by four… There are many rhythms on the farm that can influence poetry. Working with animals and observing the changes in season give poetry a natural metre and cadence. Animals have a particular poetry in the way they move and behave, and to capture their essence and beauty in words is very satisfying.

PNCL: Tell us the best farming TV show theme tune. You can choose either A Dog’s Show or Country Calendar. Which will it be?

Tim: Maybe mash-up between the two – we could call it A Dog’s Calendar.

Q: How old were you when you noticed a poetic tendency? What were your early poems about?

Tim: I didn’t really start to write poetry until I was in my thirties. I have always written short stories, but poetry seemed quite daunting and academic. I think the way it was taught at school didn’t help. But as I got older I really started to appreciate the craft of writing poetry, and the ability to convey a story using its most basic elements. I have never taken a formal class or workshop on poetry, I learnt the craft purely from reading poems and taking them apart to see how they worked. I try to write poems from my own observations and experiences, but they are not always rurally based.

Q: Is there a season that particularly resonates with or inspires you for your writing?

Tim: I think the changes between seasons are inspiring. The little gaps where the elements are neither one thing nor the other. Those times that we don’t normally notice, the gradual changes. That’s where the magic happens.

Thanks Tim! We’re looking forward to having you this week. And we look forward to welcoming the public to talk seasons, farming and poetry with us.

3 Burning Questions – Crime After Crime

We are thrilled to host Crime After Crime: the world’s finest crime writers come to Palmerston North on 13 September. We expect a criminally good night!

Val McDermid is considered to be crime-writing royaly. Over 18 million copies of her books have sold to date, and there have been several TV adaptions. Her latest book, 1989 is the second book in the Allie Burns series.

Michael Robotham is Australia’s hottest crime writer; his Joseph O’Loughlin series was a worldwide bestseller and is currently being adapted for the screen. He’s also well known for his bestseller The Secrets She Keeps, now an award-winning TV drama with Season 2 streaming now on TVNZ+. His latest book is Lying Beside You.

Rotorua-born J.P. Pomare’s debut novel Call Me Evie won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel, and his second book In the Clearing will soon grace our screens via Disney+. His fifth book, The Wrong Woman, is out now.

To get our interrogation started, we sent 3 burning questions to the authors. Here’s what they had to say for themselves.

What’s the weirdest thing in your (writing-related) search history?

J.P.POMARE: The one thing I think that has put me on a watchlist (If I am on one) was ‘How to drown a child’ which I searched for In The Clearing

VAL MCDERMID: It would have to be a toss-up between ‘home-made bomb 1994’ and ‘how to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Sgurr Alasdair.’ And lots of searching for accurate names for characters of different nationalities. ‘Most common Lithuania surnames,’ that sort of thing.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: When I was writing Bombproof, I had to research how to make a homemade bomb known as the ‘Mother of Satan’. I was convinced that the security services were going to pick up on trigger words and come storming into my house to arrest me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you know how the book will end when you start writing?

J.P.POMARE: I know how the book is going to end, but I’m still a pantser when it comes to the writing. I view the end of the story as a point on the compass and will generally head in that direction but won’t follow a map, or have a plan as to what is going to happen. I just like to be surprised as I write.

VAL MCDERMID: I used to be a plotter. When I started out, I thought plotting was my weakest area, so I worked hard on getting the story coherently laid out on file cards before I started. Then that suddenly stopped working for me mid-book. Now, I know the broad brush strokes of the story, the ending I’m aiming for and a couple of crucial turning points along the way. Writing is a process, and we don’t always control what works for us!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: I’m definitely a pantser. When I was writing LYING BESIDE YOU, I was three quarters the way through and still didn’t know who the villain was going to be.

One of the benefits is that I make each of the suspects equally credible, because I don’t know who I’m going to choose. I think sometimes when you know too early, you can make the villain either too obvious, or tried to hide them too well and not give the reader a chance to guess the ending. I figure, that if I don’t see the twists coming – neither will the reader.

What pseudonym would you use if you had to go on the run after a – hopefully non-lethal – crime?
J.P.POMARE: Paul Gilbert — it might be a little obvious, and I’m sure Reid would figure it out in ten seconds but it’s my middle name and my Grand Mothers Maiden name.

VAL MCDERMID: Something really bland and common. Emma Taylor, Sarah Robertson, Jane Brown. That sort of thing. And if I dyed my hair its original colour, nobody would recognise me!

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM: Inspector Endeavour Morse. (Nobody would ever suspect me of anything).

Tickets are now sold out.

Check out the winners!

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults champion and honour New Zealand’s literature for tamariki and rangatahi. The winners were announced on Wednesday August 10, and now’s your chance to check them out.

The awards are a celebration of New Zealand’s children’s authors and illustrators, and the contribution they make to building our national identity and heritage. So without further ado, here’s the winners of 2022! We’re including a link to the book in our collection, so you can see if it’s available. If it’s not, place a reservation

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year, Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction and Russell Clark Award For Illustration

Atua: Māori Gods and Heroes, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

 “Before the beginning there was nothing. No sound, no air, no colour: nothing. TE KORE, NOTHING. No one knows how long this nothing lasted because there was no time. However, in this great nothing there was a sense of waiting. Something was about to happen.

Find it in the library.

Picture Book Category Winner

Lion guards the cake, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

“Lion is full of pride when it comes to guarding his home and when the birthday cake has been made for the next day’s celebrations, he goes where he is needed most … to guard the cake. But in the morning, the household awakes to a chaotic scene. What happened when Lion was guarding the cake?”

Find it in the Library.

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

The Memory Thief, written by Leonie Agnew

Seth has been trapped behind the iron bars of the public gardens for as long as he can remember. By day he’s frozen as a statue of a shepherd boy, but as soon as the sun sets he roams the park, ravenously hungry. He is a troll, and the food he seeks is human memories. Then he meets Stella.

Find it in the library.

Young Adult Fiction Award

Learning to Love Blue, written by Saradha Koirala

With Vox Pop and high school behind her, 18-year-old Paige arrives in Melbourne with her suitcase and bass guitar; a copy of Bob Dylan’s Chronicles and Joni Mitchell’s Blue – a gift from her estranged mother that she’s still learning to love. Following in the footsteps of her musical heroes, all of whom left home to make it in 1960s New York, Paige knows Melbourne’s the new rock and roll capital of the world: if she can’t make it here, she can’t make it anywhere.

Find it in the Library.

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

I Waho, i te Moana, written by Yvonne Morrison, illustrated by Jenny Cooper and translated by Pānia Papa

Out in the moana, underneath the sparkling sun, lived a mother sea lion and her little pup one. A playful retelling of the much-loved traditional story, Over in the Meadow.

Find it in the library.

NZSA Best First Book Award

Spark Hunter, written by Sonya Wilson

Over a million hectares of wild bush-clad land and one young hunter… Nissa Marshall knows that something is hiding deep in the forests of Fiordland National Park – she’s seen their lights in the trees. But what are they, and why does no one else seem to notice them?

Find it in the library.

Congratulations to the winners! You can see the full shortlist at the New Zealand Book Awards Trust website – it’s a great starting point for some of the newest and best stories for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (youth).