NZ History

The Water Bottle

The Water Bottle

Oratia Books, 2022Illustrated by Burak AkbayISBN 978-1-99-004215-7 The Water Bottle is a picture book set in two countries (Turkey and New Zealand) and two time frames (1915 and today). I hope it’s a story about how today’s young people can build friendships with others who may at first seem “different”, and learn how to look…

Quarantine

Quarantine

Scholastic, 2022 (My New Zealand Story) ISBN 978-1-775-43760-4 “Being in quarantine sounds like being in prison,” I said, shivering. Lily nodded. “A bit like that. Except that the prison is your own home.” It might sound familiar today, but this is New Zealand in 1936-37. The disease is infantile paralysis, or polio, and nobody knows…

The Other Sister

The Other Sister

Pipi Press, 2021ISBN 9780473579579 This book is a sequel to The Telegram (Pipi Press, 2019) –  but you can also read it on its own. It is set in the same town and contains many of the same characters, as well as lots of new ones.  January 1920 heralds the start of a new decade,…

This is Where I Stand

This is Where I Stand

Scholastic, 2021Illustrated by Kieran RynhartISBN 9781775433842Shortlisted for the Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards 2021 A beautiful story centred around the statue of a World War One soldier. The statue describes his own memories of the war, as well as what he has seen from his pedestal as the years have passed. When I wrote…

Our Incredible Dogs

Our Incredible Dogs

New Holland, 2020ISBN 9781869665395 Dogs have played a central role in the lives of New Zealanders. Whether working farm dogs, police dogs, loyal companions, mascots, little heroes or fictional dogs, they have become a special part of our culture. Our Incredible Dogs: The Stories behind the Statues looks at the dogs that have been memorialised…

Enemy at the Gate

Enemy at the Gate

Pipi Press, 2020ISBN 978-0-473-52170-7 A deadly disease is sweeping the world and nobody knows how to stop it. Movie theatres and swimming pools are shut and schools are closed. People are discouraged from gathering in large groups at the beach. Twelve-year-old Tom Mitchell can’t even see his best friend Charlie. He wonders when the lockdown…

The Telegram

The Telegram

Pipi Press, 2019ISBN 978047346282Shortlisted for the Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards 2019Fiction Special Mention, NZ Heritage Book Awards 2019Storylines list of notable books for 2020 Fourteen-year-old Beatrice Thomas lives with her widowed mother and younger sister, Tilly, in a small New Zealand town overshadowed by the events of World War One. Many of the…

Antarctic Journeys

Antarctic Journeys

New Holland, 2019ISBN 9781869664992 Where is Antarctica? Who was the first to discover it? What was the Race to the South Pole? Why did it take so long for women to be allowed to go to Antarctica? How do you get there, and how is it different from the rest of the world? How cold…

The New Zealand Wars

The New Zealand Wars

New Holland, 2018ISBN 9781869664787Shortlisted for the Children’s and Young Adults Book Awards 2018Storylines list of notable books for 2019 The New Zealand Wars is a fascinating look at a part of New Zealand’s history and culture that many people feel they don’t know enough about. Why did the New Zealand Wars start? When and where…

Waitangi Day: The New Zealand Story

Waitangi Day: The New Zealand Story

New Holland, 2015ISBN 9781869664213Shortlisted for Children’s choice awards, NZ Post Book Awards 2015Storylines list of notable books for 2016 Aimed at younger readers but providing an excellent resource for the whole family, this book looks at the rich history behind Waitangi Day, universally recognised as New Zealand’s national day. It reviews the historic events behind…

Harbour Bridge

Harbour Bridge

Scholastic, 2014ISBN 9781775431664Storylines list of notable books for 2015 The Auckland Harbour Bridge is under construction. Simon likes watching the bridge being built, and talking to his uncle and his mates about what’s happening on site. Meanwhile, Simon’s best friend Marty is obsessed with the Space Race and his younger sister Jo can’t stop worrying…

Best Mates

Best Mates

New Holland, 2014Illustrated by Bob KerrISBN 9781869664114 The three young soldiers in the story are best friends from school, and they leave New Zealand together to go and fight at Gallipoli. Landing first in Egypt, they travel by ship to Anzac Cove and dig into trenches to fight the Turkish troops holding the peninsula. Conditions…

Lighthouse Family

Lighthouse Family

Scholastic, 2013ISBN 9781775431473Storylines list of notable books for 2014 For Frances and her family, living on a lighthouse, the war is both far away and scarily close. There are rumours of submarines in the Pacific. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, taken Singapore and bombed Darwin, so what’s to stop them invading New Zealand next?…

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