Brocker, Susan

Brocker, Susan


Bay of Plenty
Primary publisher
HarperCollins NZ
Rights enquiries
Publicity enquiries

In Brief

Susan Brocker writes fiction and non-fiction for older children and teenagers. She has published more than 60 books spanning a range of topics, including the natural world, social history and animals. Brocker’s first novel published with HarperCollins NZ in 2007 was Restless Spirit, set in Waiouru against the background of the fight to save the Kaimanawa horses. This was followed by Saving Sam in 2009 and Brave Bess and the ANZAC Horses in 2010. Susan Brocker is available for writer visits as part of the Writers in Schools programme, as well as lead Professional Development sessions for teachers.


Brocker, Susan (1961 – ) writes fiction and non-fiction for both the educational and trade markets. She has worked in the writing and publishing industry since finishing her BA in History at the University of Waikato and in 1997 she became a full-time writer.

Brocker’s first publication, What am I? (1994), was published while she was an in-house writer and editor at Shortland Publications. She has published over 50 books in the educational market, that span a range of fictional and non-fiction topics, including the natural world, social history and animals.

Although she has written numerous children’s books for the educational market, Brocker says ‘my major achievement has been writing novels for older children about subjects close to my own heart, trying to bring history alive in them.'

Brocker’s first novel is Restless Spirit (HarperCollins, 2007), described as ‘an exciting adventure story with rich detail and a genuinely moving conclusion.’ (Magpies, Vol. 22 No. 2 May 2007 NZ, p.7). The story is set in Waiouru and is based on the fight to save wild Kaimanawa horses.

Brocker's second novel Saving Sam (HarperCollins, 2009) is the story of Ben, a troubled young teenager struggling to find his place in the world, and the damaged dog he befriends. NZ Heraldcalls it 'A gentle tale of learning to trust and love again that builds to a suspenseful finish', while the Whangnui Chroniclesays 'This is by far the best book for young people I have read in a very long time... This book is hard to put down and still harder to forget.' Saving Sam was listed as a 2010 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book.

Brave Bess and the Anzac Horses (HarperCollins, 2010)is the true story of the sole surviving horse of over 10,000 that were taken to the battlefields during the First World War to serve mainly with the Mounted Rifles Brigade in the Middle East. Brave Bess and the ANZAC Horses was listed as a 2011 Storylines Notable Non Fiction Book.

Dreams of Warriors
(HarperCollins, 2010) follows a determined teenage girl named Bella, who holds in her hands the fate of her family’s dreams. The Daily Post said of Dreams of Warriors ‘an entertaining and educational read for anyone over 9'. Dreams of Warriors was listed as a 2011 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book and was shortlisted for the 2011 Lianza Esther Glen Award.

Brocker’s novel The Wolf in the Wardrobe (HarperCollins, 2011) is an intriguing and quirky adventure story about a 13-year-old-boy who tries to rescue a wolf from the clutches of a crazy clown and keep her as his pet. The Wolf in the Wardrobe was shortlisted for the 2012 Lianza Esther Glen Award.

The Drover's Quest (HarperCollins, 2012) is a historical novel set in the 1860s West Coast gold mining era. It is the story of a headstrong girl who disguises herself as a boy so she can join a cattle drive across the Southern Alps to find her missing gold-digger father. The Drover’s Quest was listed as a 2013 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book and was shortlisted for the 2013 Lianza Esther Glen Award.

1914: Riding into War (2014) is the first in the new Kiwis at War series by Scholastic NZ. 1914: Riding into War tells the story of young Billy Bowman who rushes off to enlist with the mounted riflemen in World War One only to discover that war is not the big adventure he thought it would be.


  • Christchurch City Libraries interview with Susan Brocker
  • Susan Brocker’s website

Updated May 2022.