My favourite NZ books – Sandy Nelson

Hi there Christchurch Kids!

My name is Sandy Nelson. I am the writer of ‘The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound,’ a story about a New Zealand boy who is haunted by some ghosts of sailors who died in World War Two – 1023 of them.

I am also a school teacher at Twizel Area School. Twizel is the nearest town to Mount Cook. This year I am teaching 26 wonderful Year 4 and 5 kids. My school is a bit unusual because it has students from ages 5 to 18 all at the same school.

In my family I have my husband Dean, 3 boys, a cat and a puppy. Keep reading and you will learn something about my puppy.

Zac has asked me to write about my favourite N.Z. children’s book. It has been really hard to decide on just one book. I have spent a lot of time gazing at the hundreds of books on my bookshelves.  I am going to tell you about 3 of my favourite New Zealand books.

The Halfmen of O is one of my favourite books for older kids. The writer is Maurice Gee. I have read this book to lots of classes. Sometimes kids get a bit scared so don’t read this story unless you are brave! The Halfmen of O is a fantasy book about two kids, Susan and Nick, who travel into a world called O. There are lots of fantasy / adventure books a bit like this, but this still my favourite. It is the first book in an excellent series. One of the reasons I like this book is that the setting of the real life parts of
the story is in one of my favourite places, Golden Bay, which is over a great big hill from Nelson.

The next book I am going to tell you about is another one that I like reading to classes. It is called Shipwreck and it is not about the Titanic or the Wahine. It is about a ship named Mikhail Lermontov. This ship came from Russia to New Zealand with lots of tourists and sunk in the Marlborough Sounds. Lots of New Zealanders went to help in little boats. The history parts of the story are true. The writer is Jules Older. This is a great story for 8-10 year olds. It was published in 1991. Hopefully you will still
find it on library shelves as it is a great story.

My last favourite story is a picture book for younger kids and for anyone who likes dogs and happy endings.  Herbert the Brave Sea Dog by Robyn Belton is another Marlborough Sounds story.  My family all loves this book, especially my 7 year old twin boys. That’s partly because it is about a dog that is the same kind of dog as our puppy (a border terrier) and because we
had a great family holiday at one of the places in the story, Duncan Bay. In this story Herbert falls off a boat and no one notices. He is found still swimming in the sea more than 30 hours later. This is a true New Zealand
story. The pictures are beautiful too.

Happy reading! And happy learning at school this term!

1 Response so far

  1. 1

    Tierney Reardon said,

    Wow! I love The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound!!! It’s so sad when Paddy’s grandfather dies, it was described so well, and it felt so real.

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