Author(s): David Hill

NZ Middle Fiction

Master storyteller David Hill traces the fortunes of two New Zealand families over seven generations, through wars, depressions, disasters, protest and social change in this exciting novel for intermediate readers.

This sweeping saga traces the fortunes of two New Zealand families, one M?ori and one Scottish, through seven generations and more than 130 years of fast-flowing change.

From 1886 to the present day, the two families’ lives are shaped by love, marriage, the weather, wars, earthquakes, politics and tragedies. But always the powerful Waimoana River that flows through their valley rules their destinies and offers some thrilling discoveries.

Each of the eight chapters is narrated by one member of every generation and we learn much of what happened to many of the characters in hindsight. Events that affect them include arriving in a new land, both world wars, the 1938 Napier earthquake, the 1981 Springbok tour and the impact of urban and rural drift. Two family trees help you keep on top of the multitude of names.

Both families’ love for the land and desire to protect it shines through the generations. They regard it as their “treasure”, but two pieces of jewellery — a silver bracelet and a greenstone carving — also feature in a variety of dramas as these physical taonga are handed down through the ages.

Hill has written an engaging and informative story of New Zealand’s history that will appeal to readers aged 11 to adult.

- Ruth


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Master storyteller David Hill traces the fortunes of two New Zealand families over seven generations, through wars, depressions, disasters, protest and social change in this exciting novel for intermediate readers.

David Hill is a prolific and highly regarded New Zealand writer, playwright, poet, columnist and critic. Best known for his highly popular and award-winning body of work for young people, ranging from picture books to teenage fiction, his novels have been published all around the world and translated into several languages, and his short stories and plays for young people have been broadcast here and overseas.

Born in Napier, New Zealand, David studied at Victoria University of Wellington and became a high-school teacher, teaching both in New Zealand and the UK. In 1982 he became a full-time writer and his first novel for teenagers, See Ya, Simon (1992), about a boy with muscular dystrophy, was shortlisted for major awards in New Zealand and the UK and won the 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs. An enduringly popular novel used as a class text in high schools all over New Zealand, in 2002 it was awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book.

David has published more than 40 titles over the past three decades. His most recent junior novels include My Brother's War (2012), which in 2013 won the Junior Fiction Award and the Children's Choice Junior Fiction Award in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, the LIANZA Librarian's Choice Award and was listed as a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book, a White Raven and an IBBY Honour book. This was followed by novels Brave Company(2014) – also a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book;The Deadly Sky (2015); and Enemy Camp (2016), about an incident which took place at the Featherston Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1943. It won the 2016 HELL Children’s Choice Award for Junior Fiction.

David is also the author of a number of critically acclaimed picture books. These include First to the Top (2015), an account of the life of Sir Edmund Hillary which won the 2016 HELL Children's Choice Award for non-fiction and was a 2016 Storylines Notable Picture Book, and Speed King (2016), about the world-record-breaking achievements of Burt Munro and was a 2017 Storylines Notable Picture Book; both of which are illustrated by Phoebe Morris.

In 2004 David was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and in 2005 he was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, acknowledging his significant contribution to children's literature in New Zealand.

He lives in New Plymouth with his wife Beth, and juggles his many writing projects with numerous school visits, leading professional development for teachers, mentoring new and emerging writers and tutoring creative writing.

General Fields

  • : 9780143772392
  • : Penguin Group (NZ)
  • : Puffin
  • : March 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hardback
  • : 823.2
  • : 261
  • : David Hill