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The Ghosts of Tarawera (Spooky Adventures) (Volume 2) Paperback – June 1, 2015
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About the Author
Sue Copsey is an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction, mainly for children and young adults. She is best known for her series of ghostly adventure stories for older children. Sue grew up in England, in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire. Sue was a press officer at London Zoo before moving into publishing, working as a senior editor at Dorling Kindersley. Whilst at DK she wrote the international bestseller 'Children Just Like Me', which won several awards, including the Times Educational Supplement 'Best Children's Non-Fiction'. Sue and her husband moved to New Zealand several years ago and settled well into the Kiwi way of life. They have two children and live in Auckland. Sue now works as a freelance editor and writer and has produced more than 50 New Zealand school books, including 'Our Children Aotearoa' (2011), which won a Storylines Notable Non-fiction award. Visit Sue at www.suecopsey.com
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Top customer reviews
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The author has carefully researched the real Tarawera eruption and re-created a lesser version of the same as the setting of this story. But whereas the true eruption was far in the past this is set in modern times. Or it might even be set slightly in the future as though to warn us all, "Hey this really could happen again at any time in this country - so watch out!"
The handling of the ghostly Maori warrior apparition was handled well. His scariness had good reason at the start because he was trying to scare them off for their own safety. But when that failed, he did not desert them and helped to save them and so by then the child characters had learnt not to fear him.
It's about time a good author mined the historical possibilities of the New Zealand landscape to create compelling children's fiction. As an experienced teacher I know how a good fiction story can encourage the child's interest in learning more of the facts. Sue Copsey has done it twice now - first at the marvellously romantic setting of Young Nick's Head and now again at Tarawera.
There was only one small detail that bothered me - I thought they'd use a T-shirt as a water filter for hygiene reasons. What they did instead was a tad gross, but perhaps I'm just too old and hygiene conscious - kids will probably just enjoy the humour in this.
Natural disasters are a regularly recurring theme in classrooms around the country. This book must become an essential part of all future classroom campaigns on the topic of volcanoes to this age-group. If I were teaching now and embarking on such a study with the class, the first thing I'd do is to read it aloud to the children. Then compare it to the true story of Tarawera and have fun discovering all the link-ups. Plenty of supernatural themes are regularly described as part of the real eruption so even those themes of this story will tie up with historical records.
Deserves a respected spot in every school library and every family bookshelf in New Zealand and beyond.
Joe, we quickly learn, has a sixth sense - he gets prickles on the back of his neck, and he sees ghosts. And as any student of New Zealand history will tell you, when you see a ghost canoe on Lake Tarawera there's something dire about to happen.
There's a great mix of modern technology in this exciting ghost story - Joe gets strange messages on his Facebook feed, and peculiar texts. And there are the two geologists doing some research nearby, with all their up-to-the-minute equipment. But as we all know, mother nature can still spring surprises on the scientists.
This is a fun read and with excellent science included.
Great for girls AND boys 8-13 (and big kids too!)