Kevin Boon has written television drama and comedy, stage and radio plays, novels, short stories, picture books and over 100 non-fiction titles. He is also a teacher and school principal with many years' experience. Many of Boon's books are published within different series, including People in New Zealand History, Famous New Zealanders, The Story of the All Blacks and New Zealand Disasters. In 2006, Boon won The Elsie Locke Award for his series Developments in New Zealand History. Boon is available to visit schools as part of our Writers in Schools programme, as well as lead professional development sessions for teachers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BOON, Kevin (1940 - ) has written television drama and comedy, stage plays, radio stories, novels, short stories, picture books and over one hundred non-fiction titles. He is a registered teacher and school principal with many years of experience.
His subjects include individuals from Edmund Hillary to Malvina Major; historical events from the Tongawera eruption to the Wahine Disaster; and aspects of colonial history from whalers and sealers to the Treaty of Waitangi.
Many of Boon's books are parts of various series. Series titles include People in NZ History, Famous New Zealanders, The Story of the All Blacks, New Zealand Disasters, and Developments in New Zealand History.
Boon's first book was a novel, The Great Marlin Mystery (1988). He has also written plays, and scripts for the television series If Y'Can't Beat 'Em, and scripts including 'A Step in the Right Direction' (2007) for National Radio's Ears programme.
Boon's picture books include Lost (2002), Lorna and the Ladybird (2002), and Moonbiter (2002), which is the retelling of an Aboriginal story. In 2008 he wrote Meeting George Nepia for the School Journal, Part 4 2008.
Recent titles in the People in New Zealand History series include Norman Kirk, Maui Pomare and Jon Trimmer (Kotuku Publishing, 2005) and Janet Frame, Yvette Williams and Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan (Kotuku Publishing, 2006).
In 2006 Kevin Boon won The Elsie Locke Award (previously LIANZA Young People's Non-fiction Award) for his series Developments in New Zealand History. The Elsie Locke Award celebrates a distinguished contribution to non-fiction for young people. The judging panel said, 'Without the work of Kevin Boon, New Zealand’s non-fiction resources for children would be infinitely poorer. A thematic approach to history, rather than a strictly chronological one, requires careful synthesis of the material, and Boon does this particularly well, moving through each topic in a way that to the reader is convincing and logical. It is an enormously impressive achievement.'
The Liberals, The Forests, Roads and Railways and Development of Farming are the four latest volumes in a series of twenty general knowledge resources recommended for children aged eight to fifteen years old. Each book contains double-page spreads with multiple historic and contemporary photographs to corroborate the text. The themes and key events in each title cross-reference within the series, providing a continuum of colonial New Zealand history. The series also includes relevant New Zealand maps.
Of Dawn of the 20th Century (Waiatarua press, 2008) it was said, 'It is not easy to summon up the lost world of penny post, telegrams, trams and night carts, but Boon's assembly of useful information, lively illustrations and cogent captions does it well.' (Magpies, Vol 23, Issue 2, May 2008, p.8 (NZ section))
His novel for young adults, Kezia, was published in 2011 by Kotuku Publishing. Kezia is a biographical novel about the childhood of Katherine Mansfield, drawing on her short stories.
Boon has written a full-length play set in Australia titled Politically Incorrect, which he described as having a 'gentle dig' at our trans-Tasman cousins.
MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS
Updated April 2022.