Posts Tagged ‘War’

1916 Dig for Victory

By David Hair

Kiwis at War series

ISBN 9781775432784

Scholastic NZ


While obviously there are no longer any soldiers left alive from the First World War to talk about their experiences, I do believe David Hair has captured their time realistically and honestly. This novel is well researched and covers daily life in the trenches.   We witness the young men digging the trenches, dealing with attacks from the German side and the very real day-to-day threat of injury or death.

As the Maori contingents join up with the Otago lads (many who are actually young Scots with a fierce sense of being New Zealanders) we see a definite clash of cultures.  The racist overtones of some of the men have the potential to damage the morale and therefore their ability to work well as a team.

Leith McArran is part of the group shovelling dirt to make the trenches when he is teamed up with an obviously under-age young Maori boy Tamati Baines. I loved watching the relationship between these two young men and how it grew from strength to strength. Their relationship highlights the need to have someone you can count on in the worst of times and as this book shows so well, these were the worst of times.

A  solid account of the First World War and life on the Somme battlefield.

In a letter to a nun back in New Zealand Tamati sums up  poignantly the feelings of many of the soldiers.

I can feel the darkness closing in. One by one, the colours leave us. Gone is yellow, gone is green. Blue is fading, turning to grey. Only brown remains, a brown world of dun-clothed men, whose bodies turn slowly to mud. The night awaits.

What more can I say? A must have for intermediate and high school libraries.


Posted: December 29, 2011 in Secondary
Tags: , , , , ,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are.
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. For those of us in Christchurch, I hope the horrible and very scary aftershocks stop happening soon. I also hope your homes and families are safe. These are awful days but kia kaha and happy new year.

By Marie Lu

It is the year 2130, June is a 15 year old prodigy born for success in milatary circles. Day is a 15 year old fugitive, the prime suspect for the murder of June’s brother. It is a time of war and survival. When June and Day’s paths cross, life changes forever.
I have so many good books to read that the pile just keeps growing and growing. So does my reserve list at the library. Another one to add to the list.

Chaos Walking trilogy

Patrick Ness

The series has done very well with a dedicated fan base. This is the last in the series. Check out his site to find more details of his other titles.