The cover of this book is so much more appealing than the original one of 2003. It will attract both boys and girls alike. For those readers who do not enjoy huge amounts of text, the chunks do not seem too daunting, and a diary format also ensures the text is conveniently broken up.
Plenty of drama and action feature in this ‘factional’ historical account which ends with the sinking of the inter-island ferry in 1968. As a child I would never have considered picking up a ‘history book’, but this is a great way to portray historical facts in an accessible and engaging manner, especially as it is shown through the eyes of a 12 year old. For those who enjoy the history aspect, towards the back is a Historical Note and more than a dozen photos.
Cleverly interwoven into the narrative is the diary of the main character’s great-great-great-great grandfather when he was a surgeon on the sailing ship Birman, bringing emigrants to New Zealand 127 years prior. In parts it seems a little ‘spooky’ that disastrous events are so similar for family members several generations apart.
Readers of this book are highly likely to be inspired to read others in the My New Zealand Story series.
Title: The Wahine Disaster
Date of Publication: April 2020 (A rejacketed edition of Abandon Ship! Published in 2003)
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? Be prepared for action, drama and the loss of lives (although this is not examined in detail)
Reviewer: Nadine Molloy, Assistant Librarian, Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? I hate the girls in my class! They are so mean.