NZ Booklovers Awards 2024 shortlist

The NZ Booklovers Awards 2024 shortlist, announced today, features a mixture of debut authors and well-known writers.

Books by Carl Nixon, DV Bishop, Kelly Gibney, Sarah and Otis Frizzell, Eileen Merriman, David Hill, James Russell and Peter Millett are among the diverse titles nominated for the NZ Booklovers Awards, along with exciting new writers and outstanding debut books.

With five categories now on offer, four books are shortlisted in the new Young Adult category, six books in the Junior Fiction and Picture Book categories, seven in the Lifestyle category, and due to this year’s superb quality, eight books are shortlisted in the Adult Fiction category.

NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan says the awards, now in their sixth year, received 119 entries, all of a very high standard.

‘It was a pleasure to read so many outstanding books written by talented New Zealand authors,’ Karen McMillan says. ‘We are delighted to celebrate the shortlisted authors after robust judging to select the finalists. Our fiction award celebrates the best in storytelling, well-written books where the story is key. Our lifestyle award applauds beautifully presented non-fiction books that can enrich our daily lives. For our children’s book awards, we looked for picture books and junior fiction books that engage children and foster a love of books. In our new Young Adult category, we sought a read that would entertain and provoke thought. We are thrilled to see the exceptional books that New Zealand authors have created. These are superb books that Kiwi families will read and treasure. Thank you to our fabulous sponsors for supporting the NZ Booklovers Awards so that we can celebrate these brilliant New Zealand writers.’

The NZ Booklovers Awards 2024 shortlisted titles are:

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2023, sponsored by Lighthouse PR


Chasing the Dragon by Mark Wightman (Hoebeck Books) Checkerboard Hill by Jade Kake (HUIA)

Double Jeopardy by Stef Harris (Quentin Wilson Publishing)

El Flamingo by Nick Davies (YBK Publishers New York)

Light Keeping by Adrienne Jansen (Quentin Wilson Publishing)

Ritual of Fire by DV Bishop (Macmillan Publishers)

The Waters by Carl Nixon (Penguin Random House)

Where Light Meets Water by Susan Paterson (Simon & Schuster)

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2023, sponsored by Benefitz


Enjoy by Kelly Gibney (Beatnik Publishing)

Flora: Celebrating Our Botanical World. Edited by Carlos Lehnebach, Claire Regnault, Rebecca Rice, Isaac Te Awa, and Rachel Yates (Te Papa Press)

Good Sports by Stuart Lipshaw (Penguin Random House)

Living Beyond Land and Sea by Jane Robertson (Massey University Press)

The Lucky Taco by Sarah and Otis Frizzell (Penguin Random House)

Ki Mua, Ki Muri – 25 years of Toioho ki Āpiti by Cassandra Barnett and Kura Te Waru-Rewiri (Massey University Press)

Through Shaded Glass by Lissa Mitchell (Te Papa Press)

NZ Booklovers Award for Young Adults 2024, sponsored by The Kiwi Kids’ Bookstore


Before George by Deborah Roberts (Huia Publishers)

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

Iris and Me by Philippa Werry (The Cuba Press)

The Sparrow by Tessa Duder (Penguin Random House)

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Junior Fiction Book 2023, sponsored by The Kiwi Kids' Bookstore


Below by David Hill (Penguin Random House)

Children of the Rush Book One by James Russell (Dragon Brothers Books)

Children of the Rush Book Two by James Russell (Dragon Brothers Books)

Lopini the Legend by Feana Tu'akoi (Scholastic)

Once Upon a Wickedness by Fleur Beale, illustrations by Lily Uivel (Penguin Random House)

Tui Street Legends by Anne Kayes (Wildling Books)

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Picture Book 2024, sponsored by Duckling Publishing


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

Dazzlehands by Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (HUIA)

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

Tama and the Taniwha by Melanie Koster, illustrated by Monica Koster (Scholastic)

There Was an Odd Farmer Who Swallowed a Fly by Peter Millett, illustrated by Paul Beavis (Penguin Random House)

When Grandpa Wore a Tutu by Dawn McMillan, Illustrator Jenny Cooper (Scholastic)

The winner in each category will be announced on 28 March 2024.