This is the autobiographical story of the author, Tim Tipene who grew up in an abusive home where he was often beaten for no good reason. When older, he chose to live differently and break the cycle of violence. In Mrs Battleship, Tim tells stories from his childhood: some humorous, others horrendous. The tales of typical boyish sense of fun and adventure make for relief between tales of abuse and heartache. But Tim had some amazing teachers who cared about him enough to make a difference in his life; one of whom was nicknamed "Mrs Battleship".
Fourteen anecdotes from his childhood are included and at the end of the book is a list of contact numbers for help should the reader need them.
The most poignant moment in the book was when Tim realised the abuse he was suffering was not ‘normal’ and it didn’t happen in every family.
The book is only 76 pages with some black and white illustrations and the text is very readable making it suitable for junior readers. It would also be a good class read-aloud and discussion inspiring empathy for others and offering a lifeline to any who might need it. There are teacher notes on the publisher’s website here
Title: Mrs Battleship
Author: Tim Tipene
Illustrator: Carol Green
Publisher: One Tree House
Publication: August, 2019
Ages: 8-13 years
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Librarian, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening Sentence: I am Tim Tipene, son, brother, father, writer, black belt ninja, leader of Warrior Kids, Kiwibank local hero and Inductee to the New Zealand Martial Arts Hall of Fame.