Posts Tagged ‘Historical fiction’

Bastion Point: 507 Days on Takaparawha

My New Zealand Story

By Tania Roxborogh

ISBN  9781775434795

Scholastic NZ




This is a moving account of the realities of life during the 1977 – 1978 occupation of Bastion Point. Erica Tito tells us just what it was like when her father uprooted the family and joined  protestors in Auckland. A protest that was only supposed to be a few days or weeks at most, turned in to 507 difficult and challenging days for everyone involved. The luxuries of normal life, like running water and electricity have been left behind and Erica even enrolls in the local school which brings a new set of problems.

As Erica realises their stay could go on for some time she becomes increasingly desperate to return home to her horse Silver. A horse she is working hard to pay off and make her own.

From the start there are clashes between the protesters, Nga¯ti Wha¯tua elders, police and politicians and we begin to see things from Erica’s point of view, which is both child and Maori. It is Erica’s voice we are hearing and through her eyes we see history happening.

I love how we see Erica’s growing understanding of the situation and the realisation that all of us are guilty of believing in stereotypes. I confess that there were things I just never knew or perhaps ignored, about the days of the Bastion Point occupation and through this novel I am forced to confront the truth and that is not always easy for anyone.

Author Tania Roxborogh provides us with a well thought-out and well researched novel aimed at year five and up. This is the latest in Scholastic’s My New Zealand series which highlights history through diary entries of young children.

I was so lucky to go to Tania’s book launch a few weeks ago. It was great to see her planning and her research and to know how hard she worked to get this right. And she did!

Teacher notes can be found here.

Belle epoque

By  Elizabeth Ross

What an intriguing book trailer. Love the sepia tones and the whole bohemian Parisian atmosphere.

It is a time when the city thrives on beauty, decadence and loose morals.

Maude Pichon runs away ending up in Paris. Life is not as she expected and she is soon desperate for work.

She takes a rather unusual job where she is hired to be a friend. The idea is that the wealthy can hire a plain friend making the wealthy instantly more attractive.

Maude is hired to befriend headstrong Isabelle, the daughter of Countess Dubern but Isabelle is not privy to this secret hired friend.

The whole idea of hiring friends is rather abhorrent but secrets always have a way of being found out. Deception and decadence sounds like a really good mix. I will be looking out for this one.

By Philippa Gregory

Changeling is the first book in the new Order of Darkness series.
Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit her father’s estate. She is also accused of witchcraft and threatened with burning. Along comes seventeen-year-old Luca Vero who is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon and commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil. Together, and with new friends, Freize and Ishraq they journey into a world of werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers. An historical novel with mythical beliefs. Due out this month. Keep an eye out if you like historical novels with a twist.

Historical novels

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Secondary

Fallen Grace
By Mary Hooper

Fraud, secrets, and intrigue all set in Victorian London. Grace and her sister are orphans with nothing to their name. An awful heartbreak sends Grace on a path that changes their lives forever.

By Mary Hooper

Velvet is an orphan working as a laundress in Victorian London. That is until Madame Savoya takes her away from the harsh job. Madame Savoya is a medium but it is not long before Velvet realises things are not as they seem to be.


Posted: September 18, 2011 in Secondary
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By Mary Hoffman
Florence, the Renaissance, Michaelangelo, spies and murder all wrapped up in a thriller.
The statue of David was one of the main reasons I decided to travel – many years ago now.
Can’t wait to read Hoffman’s thriller.

The Apothecary

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Intermediate, Primary School
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The Apothecary
By Maile Mely

Great book if you like adventure, history and magic all rolled into one novel.
Janie and Benjamin are on the run trying to keep secrets, solve secrets and save the world.