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Mandy Hager wins Children's Book Award
21 May

Kapiti's Mandy Hager has won the NZ Post Children's Book Awards young adult fiction category with Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing, a coming-of-age story about a girl from a Pacific island, and the horrors she faces after being taken on a journey away from the island.

Mandy Hager, tutor on the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme, received her second award nomination for The Crossing, the first book in her Young Adult trilogy, Blood of the Lamb.

The Crossing has now been nominated as a finalist in the Sir Julius Vogel awards to be decided in August.

As well as tutoring a course in writing the novel, Mandy has written educational resources for organisations such as the DARE foundation and Global Focus Aotearoa. Her main audience for these resources is teenagers, the same as her books. Her previous book Smashed won the Ester Glenn Award in 2009 and has been acclaimed as a resource for young people who are dealing with big moral issues in their lives.

Hager's books have a strong social message for young people on the brink of adulthood but she is skilful in delivering the message through a well told, pacey story. Margaret Mahey has described The Crossing as "1984 for teenagers". The second book in the trilogy The Wilderness was launched recently and Hager intends having the third book finished this year.

In other award news, one of New Zealand's most acclaimed writers, Margaret Mahy, won the honour award for The Word Witch, a picture-book collection of many of her poems, edited by Tessa Duder.

The children's choice award went to The Wonky Donkey, a popular story about a bad-tempered, braying mule, written by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley.


Picture Book and New Zealand Post Book of the Year: Old Hu-Hu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll

Honour Award: The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by David Elliot and edited by Tessa Duder

Non-fiction: E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt

Junior Fiction: The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe

Young Adult Fiction: Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager

Best First Book Award: The Bone Tiki by David Hair

Children's Choice Award: The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley.

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