News & Updates


10-12 MAY 2022

New York Times best-selling author R. J. Palacio has sold over 30 million copies worldwide of her much-loved book, Wonder, the story of a boy with a genetic condition that disfigures his face. Exploring what means to be different, it has been championed by teachers and librarians around the world for its anti-bullying themes and has since been adapted into an Oscar-nominated film of the same name. Palacio expanded the Wonder story with books including Auggie & Me, 365 Days of Wonder, We're All Wonders and White Bird and now brings us Pony, the unforgettable quest of a son on a perilous journey to find his father. (International guests appearing via livestream link in venue).

UK-based award-winning journalist and poet
Mohamed Hassan hails from Auckland and Cairo. He is the author of the debut essay collection How to be a Bad Muslim, a personal and thoughtful exploration of identity, belonging and growing up Muslim in a post-9/11 world. Hassan was the 2015 New Zealand National Slam Champion and the winner of a New York Festival Radio Award for his podcast Public Enemy. His Radio New Zealand series The Guest House explored community grief after the Christchurch attacks, and his debut poetry collection National Anthem was a finalist in the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2021 supreme winner Tania Roxborogh scooped up both the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award and the coveted Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award for her book Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea. It is a tale of the interconnection of humans and the environment, which interweaves ordinary Tologa Bay family life with Māori mythology and was praised for the diversity of its characters as well as an engaging style and voice. A secondary school teacher, Roxborogh was a previous Junior Fiction winner with Bastion Point.

A gripping YA thriller from a major new talent,
The Upper World is British-Nigerian writer and Oxford-educated physicist Femi Fadugba’s debut novel, which has been picked up for a Netflix film adaptation to be produced by, and star, Academy-Award-nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther). An imaginative coming-of-age tale set in Southeast London which asks whether you would take the chance to change your future if you could, it skilfully blends time travelling thrills and relatable human tragedy with the wonders of physics. (International guests appearing via livestream link in venue).

The wildly popular Wings of Fire series from author Tui T. Sutherland (whose mother was born in Aotearoa New Zealand) has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 133 weeks and sold over 14 million copies. Her epic cast of dragons with their human-like traits has captured imaginations around the world as they battle tribes and fulfil prophecies. Noted for the beautifully detailed story-telling, the series is now being turned into a major Netflix-Warner Bros. animation television show. (International guests appearing via livestream link in venue).

Award-winning author and sometime magician Gareth Ward (aka The Great Wardini) conjures up magical and dramatic steampunk adventures. His debut novel, The Traitor and the Thief, won the 2016 Storylines Tessa Duder Award and the 2018 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel and Best New Talent. The thrills have continued with The Clockill and the Thief and his 2021 duology The Rise of the Remarkables, serving up feats of adventure and mystery wrapped in science and magic.

Full programme revealed and bookings open on 9 February.

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