Zac Harding introduced me to the work of New Zealand author Des Hunt in this post. I bought the book on his recommendation and read it in an afternoon – it was really exciting, well paced and beautifully written and really was one of those stories I couldn’t put down until finished. I have a selection of books by Des Hunt in my library and had not read any of them – so I am really grateful to Zac for having introduced me to his books. Now that I have read this one, I will be offering these titles to the Year 5/6 students who prefer realistic, adventurous fiction over fantasy. It seems only fitting that I reblog Zac’s original post! Zac is interviewing a wonderful selection of New Zealand authors and illustrators, as well as reviewing some great NZ titles during NZ Book Month so hop over to his blog to read more!

Clicking on “read more….” (above) will take you to Zacs post about this book, but here is the link to the blog home page:

The debate about zoos 

In Phantom of Terawhiti there are references to the ethics of keeping wild animals in enclosures. This could be a good topic for a class debate.

Harper Collins has provided PDF notes for teachers here that include links to web resources on this topic and much more!




My Best Friends Are Books

Des Hunt is one of my favourite New Zealand authors because he writes action-packed adventure stories set in New Zealand.  The setting is always so important in his stories and Des has introduced Kiwi kids to parts our beautiful country that are both familiar and unexplored territory for them. In his latest book, Phantom of Terawhiti, Des takes us to Wellington’s wild southwest coast and introduces us to Zac, who stumbles on an interesting discovery.

It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild southwest coast. Then Zac and his dad witness a boat sink during a storm. Investigating further, Zac finds a set of unusual animal prints on the beach. Whose boat is it? And what creature could have made the prints? Soon armed men are prowling the coast…

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