Sunday, 7 December 2014

Fiction Young Adult

NZ Writer Linda Hansen An Unexpected Hero Create Books 2014 $15.99pb 143pp

ISBN 978 0 9941 1027 5 Themes:  Archibald Baxter/ Conscientious Objectors/ Pacifism/ Rural Schools/ Speech Making/ Stuttering

Matt, a twelve-year-old city boy goes to the country to stay with his grandparents for a term and is plunged into the unfamiliar world of a very small rural school and a community where everyone knows (or thinks they do) all about everyone else. When he is involved in the school project of researching and making a speech about someone he considers a local hero, Matt’s worst fears are realised because he suffers from a bad stammer when under pressure and the person he has chosen to talk about is Archibald Baxter, New Zealand’s World War I Pacifist. There are people in the community who consider Archie Baxter far from being a hero and feelings run high.

Linda in her role as Shadow the Storyteller Image: Porirua  Public Library
This is one of those books where you only have to read one page and you are hooked. The story is set in the present but the reader ends up knowing a great deal about what happened to so many New Zealanders one hundred years ago. A teachers’ resource kit is available from a free download from

An Unexpected Hero will be launched on Tuesday evening, December 9th at the Children’s Bookshop Kilbirnie (04 387 3905)  and at Porirua Public Library (04) 237 1533) on Thursday December 11th 

Year 8 up / Age 12 up

Archie Baxter

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