Pupils at Millers Flat School hit the reading jackpot on Monday when local author Kyle Mewburn handed over 195 books by New Zealand authors to the school and Community Library.
Ms Mewburn had read the books, all published over the past year, asone of five judges for the children and young adults section of the New Zealand Book Awards. She had previously won six NZ Book Awards — two for picture book of the Year, one for book of the year and the now›discontinued children’s choice three times.
Principal Hilary Spedding, who also happens to be Ms Mewburn’s neighbour, said the author contacted the school immediately offering the literary treasure trove.
‘‘Kyle launched one of her dinosaur books here a few years ago,’’ Mrs Spedding said.
The winning books will be announced next week at a ceremony in Wellington that Ms Mewburn will attend.
She said there were a lot of great writers in the country.
‘‘There is certainly a high level of expertise across a wide range of genres, from war to coming›of›age to historical fiction to the future.’’
Mrs Spedding said Millers Flat School had ‘‘a really good reading culture’’ with many of the 26 pupils on the roll reading even on the school bus on the way to and from school.
Many of the children raised their hands when asked if they wrote their own stories and several said they could imagine writing a book themselves some day.
Ms Mewburn may one day be judging works by her younger neighbours.