Kura Toa Warrior School
Haki, a high school student, is involved in a car crash where a precious pounamu was stolen from around his neck while he lies helpless in the car wreckage, this starts a spiritual journey of confronting his fears, standing up to protect tapu (sacred) land, fighting a taniwha and growing into a warrior.
Tim Tipene writes in a way that captures the voice of his target audience," 'What ya doin’ now bro?”, and young readers will relate well to the characters. The story, although fictional, is one that will resonate with many readers carrying a strong environmental message. New Zealander’s are familiar with land being carved up for development and Maori standing up to protect it, Ihumātao is a recent example, and Kura Toa Warrior School shows the deeper spiritual connection between Papatuanuku and tangata whenua.
Kura Toa, Warrior School is perfect to put into the hands of reluctant teen readers, especially boys, they will find humour and experience Haki’s mana as he grows and challenges himself to face his fears. At 91 pages it is a short, faced paced read to keep interest levels up, not intimidating in its size.
Title: Kura Toa - Warrior School
Author: Tim Tipene
Publisher: Oratia Books
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? Yes. An intimate scene takes place between a teenage boy and girl, family violence is also briefly mentioned. Neither are highly graphic, however these could be triggers for some readers.
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening sentence: The moon hung majestically in the night sky.
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