Winning Year: 1982
Author: Margaret Mahy
Title: The Haunting

Original Publisher: Dent
Current Publisher: Hachette
In Print

The family of Barney's dead mother are aware that there is something special about this particular boy. As he resigns himself to being haunted again, his sister and brother set out to discover the reason behind his supernatural attraction. This is an extraordinary ghost story about a family that has a powerful contact with the spirit world.



Margaret Mahy born in Whakatane, New Zealand in 1936, the eldest of five children, with a huge extended family in the surrounding neighbourhood. She was a solitary little tomboy, living in her own world and talking out loud to herself. She knew she would be a writer.

She studied philosophy at university in Auckland and Christchurch, and then qualified as a librarian, specialising in children's reading. She brought up her two daughters alone, which at the time meant life was often tough. In 1968, an American publisher spotted one of her stories published in a journal issued to New Zealand schools. They asked for more and Margaret sent them one hundred; fifteen years of unpublished work. They were accepted and in 1980 she became a full time writer.