The cover is eye-catching, I am the design editor of our school yearbook and I love this cover! At a glance it illustrates the contents – four pivotal moments in New Zealand’s history: Votes for Women; the 1981 Springbok Tour; the Dawn Raids; and the Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.
I recommend this as a ‘must have’ secondary school text book. There are other books on each of these topics, but these four together have brought about huge social shifts in our nation, which continue to be discussed today.
I like how the author admits subjectivity in the writing of the book and backs this up, with the introduction being an information literacy lesson in itself. This is again reiterated at the back of the book with the chapter: ‘Advice for researching in a ‘Fake News’ world’. This is useful, important, information for the reader.
The book is not too long, each topic is between 20-30 pages each. Each topic includes a timeline of events, a glossary of key words and phrases, photos, reading and website lists, quotes from those who fought for change and their opposition, and thought provoking questions for the reader. All this information is spaced in blocks for easy ‘reading bites’. It is all finally backed up with references and photo credits.
The content is thought provoking, it shows how the changing landscape of politics can drag-out change over a long period of time. Being a democratic nation – “People Power” persists. Have we learnt from the past?
Established author Mandy Hager has produced a fantastic resource and I enjoyed reading it.
Title: Hindsight: Pivotal moments in New Zealand’s history
Author: Mandy Hager
Illustrator: Many photos acknowledged
Publisher: One Tree House Ltd, New Zealand 2019
ISBN: 978 0995106543
Date of Publication: October 2019
Ages: Secondary School Students years 9-13
Reviewer: Suzanne Calder, Library Manager, Greymouth High School, West Coast
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: Kia ora, the fascinating thing about digging back into our history is that it shows us who we were at certain points in time and how we’ve changed – or not changed – since that time.
You can buy this book here