Puffin 2016 $19.99pb 260pp
ISBN 9780 1433 0912 3
Themes: Cultural differences and misunderstandings/ Featherston NZ/ First person narratives/ Japanese POW’s/ Primary school life 1940’s/ World War II
It is February 22nd 1943 and at the Featherston POW
camp for Koreans and Japanese a sit-in of prisoners who refused to work is being staged. By the end of the day, nearly 70 prisoners have been killed when an unstoppable riot breaks out.
The events leading to the riot and the day itself are described by 12-year-old Ewan who, with his friends have been visiting the camp secretly and regularly. They are surprised to find the men who have been described to them as evil and cruel look like, well, just - people. Master Story Teller, David Hill, totally engages the reader’s emotions and thoughts and what David Hill ‘boy hero’ could ever tell a story without a large lashing of an underlying sense of humour?
Year 7 up/ Age 11 up
If you drive out of Featherston on State Highway 2 a little north of the township you will come to a small park which was the site of the POW camp. On a stone are carved the words from a 17th-century Japanese haiku:
Behold the summer grass;
all that remains
Of the dreams of warriors.