Can young readers deal with complex themes, issues and feelings? The judges for the 2021 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults say yes, and writers are crediting their readers with what they call "emotional intelligence".
There are six main categories - Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustration and te reo Māori - and 28 finalists.
So what makes a great - and challenging - book for children and young people? One of the judges this year is an expert in the field, Associate Professor Nicola Daly from the University of Waikato.
Lynn Freeman asks Nicola what got her interested in this specific genre:
The winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced on the 11th of August.