This year’s Storylines Notable Books

Storylines Children’s Literature Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa is once again celebrating excellence in New Zealand publishing for children and young adults with the announcement of this year’s Storylines Notable Book Award winners.

Storylines Notable Books are selected in five genres (picture books, junior fiction, young adult, non-fiction and books in te reo Māori) by expert panels of teachers, booksellers, authors, academics, and librarians from across the country.

The 2023 awards cover books published between 16 November 2022 and 15 November 2023.

Storylines Notable Book Award winners provide adult buyers and young readers with lists of the ten best New Zealand books published in the latest year in each genre, that will inspire tamariki and rangatahi and their whanau to share and enjoy reading.

The lists are excellent reading and buying guides for anyone wanting to encourage young people read for pleasure and information.

The 2023 Storylines Notable Books are: 

Screenshot 2024-06-02 204314 storyline NF


Critters of Aotearoa: 50 Bizarre But Lovable Members of Our Wildlife Community Nicola Toki, Lily Duval (Penguin Random House NZ)

The Observologist - A Handbook for Mounting Very Small Scientific Expeditions Giselle Clarkson (Gecko Press)

Good Sports: A Storybook of Kiwi Sports Heroes Stuart Lipshaw (Penguin Random House NZ)

My First Words About Tikanga Māori Stacey Morrison, Kurawaka Productions (Penguin Random House NZ)

Patu: the New Zealand Wars Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House NZ)

Those Magnificent Voyagers of the Pacific Andrew Crowe, Rick Fisher (Bateman Books)

Mangō: Sharks and Rays of Aotearoa Ned Barraud (Te Papa Press)

Tuatara, a Living Treasure Katie Furze, Ned Barraud (Scholastic NZ)

Wot Knot You Got? Mophead's Guide to Life Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press)

Ultrawild: an Audacious Plan to Rewild Every City on Earth Steve Mushin (Allen & Unwin)

Highly Commended

Pasifika Navigators — Pasifika Student Poetry Collection How Did I Get Here? Soliloquies Of Youth, Darcy Solia (Illustrator) ***Note: The poetry includes 52 Pasifika student contributors (Mila's Books)

Screenshot 2024-06-02 204340 te reo matariki

Te Reo Māori

Te Rā Kura ki Aotearoa Donovan Bixley, Darryn Joseph (Translator) (Upstart Press)

Tōku Whānau Rerehua — My Beautiful Family Rauhina Cooper, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Oratia Books)

Ko Ngā Whetū Takirua o Matariki, Ko Waitī rāua ko Waitā Miriama Kamo, Zak Waipara, Ariana Stevens (translator) (Scholastic NZ)

Ko Tama me te Taniwha Melanie Koster, Monica Koster, Pānia Papa (translator) (Scholastic NZ)

Riwia me te Mātai Arorangi Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Huia Publishers)

Ko Te Wai, Ko Tama Me Te Marama Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Huia Publishers)

Ka Wehi Au Ki Ngā Wenerei Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Huia Publishers)

He Reo Iti Noa Ahau Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Huia Publishers)

He Mahi Taunga Kore Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Huia Publishers)

Screenshot 2024-06-02 204406 YA storyline

Young Adult

The Sparrow Tessa Duder (Penguin Random House NZ)

Catch a Falling Star Eileen Merriman (Penguin Random House NZ)

The Other Brother Jax Calder (OneTree House)

The Edge of Light: New Dawning AM Dixon (OneTree House)

Iris and Me Philippa Werry (The Cuba Press)

Flying and Falling Lynda Tomalin (GlitterInk Press Ltd)

The Impossible Story of Hannah Kemp Leonie Agnew (Walker Books Australia)

Screenshot 2024-06-02 204432Junior fiction storyline

Junior Fiction

Tūī Street Legends Anne Kayes, Craig Phillips (Wildling Books)

Below David Hill (Penguin Random House NZ)

Pipi and Pou and the Tentacles of the Deep Tim Tipene, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (OneTree House)

The Hudson, the Hunt & the Helicopter Joan Joass (Copy Press Books)

Jason Mason and the Flightless Bird Fiasco Jason Gunn, Andrew Gunn (Bateman Books)

Once Upon A Wickedness Fleur Beale, Lily Uivel (Penguin Random House NZ)

Children of the Rush - Book 2 James Russell (Dragon Brothers Books)

Lopini the Legend Feana Tu‘akoi (Scholastic NZ)

RockyBottoms! Big Little Blue, Book Two Raymond McGrath (Scholastic NZ)

Like The Wind J L Williams (Ocean Echo Books)

Highly Commended

Caged Susan Brocker (Scholastic NZ)

Screenshot 2024-06-02 204451 picture books storyline

Picture Books

Lucy and the Dark Melinda Szymanik, Vasanti Unka (Penguin Random House NZ)         

Matariki Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House NZ)

Granny McFlitter’s Eggcellent Easter Heather Haylock, Lael Chisholm (Penguin Random House NZ)

At the Bach Joy Cowley, Hilary Jean Tapper (Gecko Press)

The Great Kiwi School Day Donovan Bixley (Upstart Press)

E Oma, Rāpeti: Pō Mārie / Run, Rabbit: Goodnight Norah Wilson, Kimberly Andrews, Pānia Papa (translator) (Scholastic NZ)

Duck Goes Meow Juliette MacIver, Carla Martell (Scholastic NZ)

Grandpa's Dashing Dessert Tania Sickling, Lael Chisholm (Scholastic NZ)

Tama and the Taniwha Melanie Koster, Monica Koster (Scholastic NZ)

Dazzlehands Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan, (Huia Publishers)

“Congratulations to all the creators and publishers of this year’s award winners,” says Storylines Trust chair Christine Young. “These are impressive lists of excellent books in all categories; testament to the strength and depth of local children’s and young adult publishing. 

“The strength of publishing in te reo Māori remains evident, with books from a number of publishers. The non-fiction category covers everything from wildlife to environmental issues; sports to New Zealand and Pasifika history. I was particularly delighted to see an anthology of Pasifika student poetry highly commended in this category.

“As ever, the young adult, junior fiction and picture book categories are strong, with books by new and established writers impressing the judging panels.

“Clearly, the commitment from New Zealand publishers and authors to producing quality books for young people remains strong, and I’d commend these lists of award winners as providing excellent choices for whānau or friends looking for Christmas gift ideas, or for teachers and librarians looking to add to their school or early childhood centre libraries.

”It is so important that our tamariki and rangatahi enjoy reading – and equally important that they have access to high quality books that reflect and broaden their experience of growing up in New Zealand.”

View the October Aotearoa Children’s Junior Fiction and YA Bestseller List, sponsored by Storylines