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Children's Literature Reviews
Item 1 of 1

Joy Cowley.
Publisher description
New York : Philomel Books, c2004.
153 p. ; 22 cm.


A Maori boy in 1805 and a plane crash survivor marooned on a deserted island in 2005 experience interconnecting visions.

Best Books:

Best Children's Books of the Year, 2004 ; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to the Ninth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson Company; United States
VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers, 2004 ; VOYA; United States

Awards, Honors, Prizes:

New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award, 2006 Winner Junior Fiction New Zealand

Reading Measurement Programs:

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.8
Accelerated Reader Points 5
Accelerated Vocabulary


Hazel Rochman (Booklist, Sep. 15, 2004 (Vol. 101, No. 2))
Is there such a thing as an ancestor guardian angel? Cowley plays with the question in this survival adventure about Hunter, a runaway Maori slave in New Zealand in 1805, and Jordan, a mixed-race teenager in 2005 who wants to explore her Maori ancestry--even though her parents couldn't care less about "that genealogy stuff." After the plane Jordan and her two younger brothers are on crashes on a wild shore, Hunter risks being caught to save her. Jordan feels Hunter's presence like a voice in her head as he guides her to food and shelter. Is he her ancestor? The contemporary story is livelier than the mystical contrivance, and Hunter is too reverential. But New Zealand writer Cowley, who is researching her own Maori roots, weaves in fascinating history, and the two survival adventures are told in tense alternating narratives that add to the compelling rescue drama. Category: Books for Middle Readers--Fiction. 2004, Putnam/Philomel, $17.99. Gr. 5-8.

Angie Rogers (Children's Literature)
Set in Manapouri, New Zealand, this novel contains two stories that, despite being in the same location, are actually happening in 1805 and 2005. It opens with the main character from the past, who calls himself Hunter, leading a group of men from the warrior tribe that murdered his family on the hunt for a rare Mao bird. He has decided that this hunt is the perfect opportunity for him to escape to live with a kind group of white men who are hunting seal on the island. However, as he seems to be blessed with a sixth sense of some sort, he keeps having visions about the story occurring in 2005--a group of three children are the only survivors in a plane crash on the island. He feels that these children belong to him in some way and is especially drawn to the oldest girl, Jordan. Hunter risks his life to stay near the warriors after escaping from them because he is communicating with Jordan what she must do to keep herself and her brothers alive. Finally, when a plane comes to rescue the children, Hunter narrowly escapes capture by the warriors. We learn at the end of the story when Jordan is discussing the children's Maori ancestry that a man called Charles Hunter did escape to live with the white seal hunters. While the plot of the novel might be a little complicated for some students, it would make an excellent novel for an advanced reader who might be doing a project on another country and/or culture. 2004, Philomel Books/Penguin, $17.99. Ages 11 up.

Laura Woodruff (VOYA, February 2005 (Vol. 27, No. 6))
This thrilling fantasy is a convincing adventure intersecting the lives of a fourteen-year-old, twenty-first century New Zealand girl and her nineteenth-century Maori great-great grandfather. Jordan and her two younger brothers, returning home from a holiday visit, are forced to take a small, private plane flown by an irresponsible man who hates children. In scenes reminiscent of Paulsen's Hatchet, they crash, the pilot is killed, and Jordan becomes responsible for their survival on an isolated, uninhabited island. Their crash is viewed remotely through time by ancestor Hunter, an aboriginal slave whose captors use his "moe-mahi," or visions, for their own profit. At that moment, Hunter is fleeing for his life, but he is compelled to teach Jordan telepathically how to find food, shelter, and most important, how to cure her younger brother's septicemia. The novel ends with the youngsters' rescue and Hunter's harrowing escape to safety. Interestingly juxtaposed alternating chapters from Jordan's and Hunter's points of view keep the reader on edge in both centuries. The bonds of blood and a supernatural gift are the well-handled glue that affords the reader insight not shared by the main characters. Language is peculiarly "down under" but quite readable and will not affect a young North American's comprehension. A highly successful author of juvenile books, Cowley proves that she is equally adept in writing for young adults with this fine story. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Philomel, 154p., $17.99. Ages 11 to 18.


Maori (New Zealand people) Juvenile fiction.
Maori (New Zealand people) Fiction.
Visions Fiction.
Extrasensory perception Fiction.
Aircraft accidents Fiction.
Survival Fiction.
New Zealand Fiction.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.C8375 Hw 2004
2003012502 [Fic]
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