Blog Archives

Teenage territories, Barbara Else

Make a Hard Fist
Tina Shaw
One Tree House, $20.00,
ISBN 9780473421878

Ocean’s Kiss
Lani Wendt Young
One Tree House, $29.00,
ISBN 9780995106741

Legacy
Whiti Hereaka
Huia, $25.00,
ISBN 9781775503347

To state the obvious, one problem with writing young adult fiction, unless the author is a teenager, is that one no longer belongs to the demographic. The first YA novel, The Outsiders, was written by S E Hinton when she was only 16, observer and participant. It feels timeless, undated, as fresh and authentic now as when first published in 1967. It still illuminates the way teenagers must find their own way to adulthood across territory that is a combination of the world around them and their own explosive emotions.

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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults

Truths both bald and stretched, Eirlys Hunter

The Diamond Horse 
Stacy Gregg
HarperCollins, $25.00, ISBN 9780008124397

Grandad’s Wheelies
Jack Lasenby
Penguin Random House, $17.00, ISBN 9780143507338

Rona 
Chris Szekely
Huia, $15.00, ISBN 9781775501985

The Impossible Boy
Leonie Agnew
Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143309062

Reading fiction allows a child to imagine what it would be like to be someone else, and to develop insight into character, motivation and relationships. These four novels are very different from each other, but they all include depictions of behaviour and relationships that will help their readers to understand something true about people.

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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Resource and recreation, Andrew Erueti

The Struggle for Māori Fishing Rights: Te Ika a Māori  Brian Bargh Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781775501961 Te Matau a Maui: Fish-hooks, Fishing and Fisheries in New Zealand Chris Paulin with Mark Fenwick fishHook Publications, $50.00, ISBN 9780473328696 Māori have ownership

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Powerful peace, Robert Sullivan

Te Whiti o Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka Danny Keenan Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781775501954 This account of the non-violent resistance movement founded by the prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi at the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka begins

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review, War

Devouring the monster within, Jon Johansson

Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia Helen Leahy Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781775501633 In Helen Leahy’s Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia, a tale is told about Tūtaeporoporo, a taniwha taking the form of a shark. Tūtaeporoporo

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Walking in more than one world, Paula Morris

Being Chinese Helene Wong Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780947492380 Going Places: Migration, Economics and the Future of New Zealand Julie Fry and Hayden Glass BWB Texts, $15.00, ISBN 9780947492694 The First Migration: Maori Origins 3000 BC – AD 1450 Atholl Anderson

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Tourism and real life, Abby Loader and Abby Simpson

Bugs Whiti Hereaka Huia, $25.00, ISBN 9781775501336 Bugs, by Whiti Hereaka, is an honest narrative that confronts the reader with the everyday life of Bugs, “as in bunny”. Sixteen-year-old Bugs is struggling to hold onto childhood pal Jez, as he

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, YA Reviewers, Young adults

Sex-free romance and YA cred, Paula Morris

Bugs
Whiti Hereaka
Huia, $25.00,
ISBN 9781775501336

When We Wake
Karen Healey
Allen & Unwin, $22.00,
ISBN 9781742378084

Awakening
Natalie King
Penguin, $20.00,
ISBN 9780143570790

Bugs, the eponymous protagonist of Whiti Hereaka’s first YA novel, is unimpressed with much of what her generation is expected to read. Her English teacher insists they discuss that infamous “human/werewolf/vampire love triangle … because the characters are our age, they’re going through what we’re going through, we can relate. Like half of us could relate to a white chick with a thing for dogs and dead dudes.”

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Alternate lives, Louise O’Brien

Don Vicente’s Daughter and Other Stories John Parkyn Oceanbooks, price unavailable, ISBN 978192715012 All the Voices Cry  Alice Petersen Biblioasis, $15.95, ISBN 978196845524  Ancestry Albert Wendt Huia, $35.00, ISBN 9781775500377 John Parkyn’s first volume of short stories, Don Vicente’s Daughter

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Literary litmus tests, Siobhan Harvey

Dark Jelly  Alice Tawhai Huia, $30.00, ISBN 9781869694760   The Desolation Angel Tim Wilson Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780864736482   Bird North and Other Stories Breton Dukes Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780864736901   More than any other literary

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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories
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