Rush on Margaret Mahy books

Author's fans stock up on favourites after death

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 14:04 24/07/2012
Margaret Mahy
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
LITERARY GREAT: Margaret Mahy died in Christchurch, aged 76.
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What is your favourite Margaret Mahy book?

A Lion in the Meadow

A Summery Saturday Morning

Down the Back of the Chair

The Word Witch

Awesome Aotearoa: A Kids' History of New Zealand

The Moon and Farmer McPhee

Bubble Trouble

Magician of Hoad

The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate

The Margaret Mahy Treasury: Eleven Favourite Stories from the Marvellous Margaret Mahy

Other

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Beloved writer Margaret Mahy's death has inspired many to head to bookshops and libraries today to stock up on her works.

Mahy died in Christchurch yesterday after being diagnosed with cancer in April. She was 76. Mahy was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour in her jaw in April and was admitted to the hospice about ten days ago.

John McIntyre owner of The Children's Bookshop said there had already been a rush on Margaret Mahy books. ''We are already getting requests for books. It's people reconnecting with their Margaret Mahy memories.''

He said there had been no one book that stood out among the requests as everyone had different favourites.

Wellington library has today erected a display of pictures from Mahy's books and will be devoting Thursday and Saturday story time to her. Children's section library assistant Simon Christiansen said that Mahy's works were always popular but there had been more requests than usual today and the library was trying to meet the demand.

The Penguin Group will publish a new Mahy story called Footsteps through the Fog in November. Mahy had donated all royalties from the sale of the book to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. The book was being printed at the time of her death but she did not see it completed.

Wairarapa-based children's author Joy Cowley said she and other writers were planning an hour-long tribute to Mahy at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, the final form of which was yet to be decided.

Mahy wrote more than 200 books and poems and won many prestigious children's book awards, including the Carnegie Medal, and was the only New Zealander to receive the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Last year she won the New Zealand Post Children's Book of the Year award for The Moon & Farmer McPhee with Dunedin illustrator David Elliot.

Mahy was made a member of the Order of New Zealand - the highest of the country's honours and open to only 20 living people at one time - in 1993. 

Margaret Mahy’s top ten selling books:

  • A Lion in the Meadow
  • A Summery Saturday Morning
  • Down the Back of the Chair
  • The Word Witch
  • Awesome Aotearoa: A Kids' History of New Zealand
  • The Moon and Farmer McPhee
  • Bubble Trouble
  • Magician of Hoad
  • The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate
  • The Margaret Mahy Treasury: Eleven Favourite Stories from the Marvellous Margaret Mahy

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- Source: Nielsen BookScan. Records from 2008 to present

- The Dominion Post

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