Stop the Tour (My NZ Story)
This story was originally published as ‘Sitting on the Fence’, and has been republished in conjunction with the 40-year anniversary of the Springboks rugby tour of New Zealand. It has a bright modern cover and is part of the ‘My Story’ series.
Martin Daly, an intermediate-aged student, recounts his experiences diary-style, of a controversial time in NZ’s history. Martin’s family is deeply divided over the issue of human rights and apartheid in South Africa; his dad is a passionate rugby fan, his older sister becomes an anti-tour protester and Martin hopes that by ‘sitting on the fence’ his family can stay united.
I read this story through the eyes of someone who lived near Eden Park during this time, and knew what the book was about. However, I wondered if younger readers would understand the issues involved in the story, if read from cover to cover. The historical notes and black and white photographs at the back of the book are very helpful and informative but possibly need to be read first to more fully understand the context of the story.
Although this book was written about events that happened 40 years ago, it has a relevant message for any era. There will always be issues that divide people and sitting on the fence is very uncomfortable. Through Martin’s diarised story, Nagelkerke reminds readers to be informed, make a choice but respect others’ opinions.
Title: Stop the Tour (My NZ Story)
Author: Bill Nagelkerke
Illustrator: Minky Stapleton
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening Sentence: Dear Sir/Madam, I’ve read in the newspaper that you want people to send you their “written memories, experiences and impressions” of the tour to New Zealand by the Springbok rugby team.
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