Thursday, 1 May 2014

New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2014

Des Hunt on Science Experiments
Des explains an experiment at the Wellington Storylines Free Family Day

Back in the days when this blog was a four-times-a year periodical I used to ‘do’ an interview with a writer or illustrator, a publisher or editor for every issue.  Here is a small extract from the one I did with Des Hunt in 2012. I took the photo at the Wellington Storylines Free Family Day when Des spent all day demonstrating and explaining the ins and outs of science experiments to an enormous group of riveted children who followed him from venue to venue. (Note he had much longer hair at that time!)

Extract from interview in Around the Bookshops August 2012 p39
It is obvious science has been a part of your life since you were young. Do you remember your very first science experiment and how successful it was?
Up until the fifth form (Year 11 in today’s terminology) my main interest was in nature and biology. Then I discovered chemistry, and my life changed. At that time Palmerston North Boys’ High School had a night-time chemistry club, which I joined. We were given almost free use of the lab, supervised by one of the chemistry teachers who was just as excited about trying new things as we were. We made stinks, poisons, corrosive liquids, explosives — all the things that still fascinate many boys. It came to an end when we set out to change the gas ammonia to nitric acid. The mixture exploded spraying glass everywhere. While my few superficial cuts and spots of acid burns were easily treated, my friend Colin got acid and glass in one eye and was hospitalized. The eye was saved, but not the chemistry club.  My fascination with the subject remained however, and I went on to finish a degree in chemistry and taught it for many years. 

Des Hunt is shortlisted for the Junior fiction Award  in New Zealand Post Books Awards for Children and Young Adults 2014 with Project Huia

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