From the Centre: A Writer’s Life
by Patricia Grace
In From The Centre, Patricia Grace tells her life story beginning with her beloved parents. She recalls travelling to Hongoeka Bay to spend time with family, her schooling with Catholic nuns, when she first realised she was Maori and therefore different, and on to meeting Dick, her future husband. She remembers the happy years teaching in Northland and the joy of her growing family. Grace also writes in depth about the political nature of being Maori and the fight to keep ancestral land. It took some time for her to pursue her passion for writing, and she talks about the journey it has taken her on. This is beautiful and easy reading and allows us to see inside the life of one of our most accomplished authors. It also shines a light on many issues still facing Maori today. I have loved her books, and I equally loved reading this story of her life.
by Donna Blaber
Donna Blaber sets her young adult novels in New Zealand and while she doesn’t tackle sex or drugs, Donna does write about some difficult topics in a gentle and natural manner. Em Rogers has moved north from Wellington to live with her nana after a car accident involving her parents. Em is convinced the accident was her fault as they were on their way to pick her up from a school detention. With this emotional trauma playing in her head, Em is struggling to fit in at her new school. That’s when everything changes. Em finds a special stone on the beach, new friends are made, and even though there’s a rahui on the rock pools, Em can’t help but be drawn to the area. This is where she remembers how happy her dad was. However, an angry local is determined to keep Em away from the rock pools, but why? What’s he hiding? Lovely story, well told and aimed at readers aged 10 to14 years.
Mahurangi Matters has two copies of Just Remember to give away. To go in the draw, email your contact details to email@example.com. Put “Just Remember” in the subject line. Competition closes August 30, 2021.