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Brocker, Susan
Writer's File

Susan Brocker

Bay of Plenty - Te Moana-a-Toi
Brocker, Susan
In brief
Susan Brocker writes fiction and non-fiction for older children and teenagers. She has published more than seventy books spanning a range of topics, including the natural world, social history and animals. Susan’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. Susan Brocker is available for writer visits as part of the Writers in Schools programme, as well as lead Professional Development sessions for teachers.
  • Primary Publisher
    Scholastic NZ
  • Rights enquiries
  • Publicity enquiries


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.

Although she has written numerous children’s books for the educational market, Susan says ‘my major achievement has been writing novels for older children about subjects close to my own heart.’

Susan’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.

Susan's second novel Saving Sam (HarperCollins, 2009) is the story of Ben, a troubled teenager and the damaged dog he befriends. NZ Herald calls it ‘A gentle tale of learning to trust and love again that builds to a suspenseful finish’, while the Whanganui Chronicle says ‘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 surviving horse of over 10,000 that were taken to the battlefields during the First World War to serve 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 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.

Susan’s novel The Wolf in the Wardrobe (HarperCollins, 2011) is a 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 Young Adult Fiction Book and was shortlisted for the 2013 Lianza Esther Glen Award.

1914: Riding into War (2014) is the first in the Kiwis at War series by Scholastic NZ. 1914: Riding into War tells the story of young Billy 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. The book was a finalist in the Children's Choice list of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015.

In 2019, Scholastic NZ published the first book in a picture book series Susan is writing on true historical New Zealand animals. The first book is Bess the Brave War Horse about New Zealand’s famous war horse. The second book, Friday the Rebel Dog, is about the loyal companion of infamous sheep stealer, James Mackenzie. The third book, Mrs Chippy the Cat, tells the story of a tomcat who was the companion to the crew on Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to the Antarctic aboard the Endurance. The fourth book, Pelorus Jack the Dolphin Guide, is the story of a famous Risso dolphin who escorted ships through the Sounds for over 24 years. Pelorus Jack was a Storylines Notable Picture Book 2022.

Early in 2022, Scholastic NZ published Susan’s novel for older children, Ice, an action-packed adventure set in the wilds of southern New Zealand. A brave boy and his rescued dog discover a ghastly secret buried beneath the mountains and must face their darkest fears to uncover the terrifying truth.

In 2023, Scholastic NZ published Susan’s Caged, a gripping novel about a teenage girl from a homeless family who becomes entangled in a web of crime. Eventually she must defy a gang leader and rescue puppies from a backyard breeder. Caged was highly commended in the Storylines Notable Book List 2023.


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