This is the first book in The New Zealand Series. It is aimed at Intermediate and Secondary students interested in or studying NZ history. This book supports the Social Studies Curriculum and is timely, considering the announcement this month that NZ history will be a compulsory subject by 2022.
This fascinating collection of writings and reflections by some of the pioneer women who came to New Zealand in the nineteenth century is edited minimally only for clarity so is an authentic account of experiences on arriving in NZ in the 19th century. The book is divided under five broad headings: The Voyage, A New Life, Adventure and Exploration, Disaster and War, and to Work; and shows the challenges these women faced and overcame when they arrived in the new country. Interesting is the letter ‘Hopeful’ wrote to family home in which she analyses the ‘type or character’ of people who should or shouldn’t leave the refines of English society and ‘rough it’ in NZ: The women had to display resilience to endure hardships including war and natural disasters such as earthquakes
Sarah Ell introduces each woman briefly and then the rest of the text is taken straight from diaries and letters. The language and syntax are therefore a bit old-school but readable nevertheless.
With fewer than 100 pages and illustrated with photos and drawings, this book is a quick read and opens an interesting window into the history of our early New Zealand pioneering women.
Title: Pioneer Women (part of The NZ Series)
Author: edited by Sarah Ell
Illustrator: designer Sarah Elworthy
Publisher: Oratia Books
Date of Publication: July 2019
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening line: The pioneer women in this book tell their own stories.
You can buy this book here
Sarah Ell is available to visit schools through the Writers in Schools programme