War Stories

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…

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…

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…

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…

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?…

Top Secret

Top Secret

Gilt Edge Publishing, 2006ISBN 187740425X In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill established a secret organisation “to set Europe ablaze!” Discover how the work of British secret agents changed the course of World War Two. Excerpt The SOE (Special Operations Executive) designed and built a whole range of gadgets for their secret agents to use…

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