There is a lot of great NZ YA fiction books around and one that I would particularly recommend is The 10 PM Question by Kate de Goldi. It is one of Kirkus Reviews 2010 Best Books for Teens, here’s what they had to say about the novel:
A talented artist and observer of birds, 12-year-old New Zealander Frankie has always been friends with his pal Gigs.
Their vividly imagined world includes a secret language shared by the two boys, which they use to talk about events around them even as some of their concerns shift from those of childhood to adolescence. However, it takes the introduction of new girl Sydney, spectacularly confident and full of kind curiosity, to broach the single topic never discussed by anyone—why Frankie’s gentle, Russian-novel reading mom never goes outside their house. De Goldi has created in Frankie a character as real, vulnerable and endearing as any that exist in print. His relationships with each of his family members—from the father everyone calls Uncle George to the brother whose dog is named after The Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies—are filled with loving detail and wild humour.
Gorgeously written, this bittersweet chronicle of family complexities is wise but never pat—a masterful meditation on anxiety and courage that will be savoured by thoughtful readers.