My favourite NZ books – Bill Nagelkerke

PhotoOne New Zealand book I particularly remember is Elsie Locke’s The Runaway Settlers, a story about a pioneering family who arrive in Lyttelton in 1858. They make a new home for themselves in Governors Bay, near Christchurch. I must have been about seven or eight years old when our teacher read this novel to our class. It had only recently been published. This was probably the first time I heard a story where events were happening in a place close to where I lived, not somewhere else altogether. It made me look at those places differently.

Many years later I was lucky enough to meet the author herself and talk to her about the book. Although Elsie is no longer alive, The Runaway Settlers is still around and it’s as good now as it was when it was first published forty-six years ago.

Bill Nagelkerke

So, what’s your favourite New Zealand book?

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