Dawn Raid by Pauline Smith

Hi everyone, this week’s post is a bit of an introduction to the history of the country I call home. This title is a New Zealand diary fiction read, whose events are based on actual events from history. If you enjoy learning about New Zealand, this week is the one to start reading…

young girl with long black hair in middle of cover in white turtle neck. red circle behind her. small circles around that. images of house, milk bottles, skating boot and sign with Polynesian Panthers inside. blue pattern around middle circle. Dawn Raid in red letter on yellow background at top.
An engaging read

Title: Dawn Raid

Author: Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

Genre: Fiction – historical 

Publication details: Scholastic NZ Ltd; 2018

ISBN: 9781775434757   (Paperback)

What this book is about: Like many thirteen-year-olds girls, young Sofia pours out her worries into her diary. She dreams of earning enough pocket money to buy the go-go boots she’s seen in the magazines, and hopes to not die of embarrassment as she gives her speech at the school competition. Through her spirited and heartfelt diary entries, we join Sofia as she navigates life in the 1970’s and is inspired by the Polynesian Panthers as they encourage immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights. 

My review: An inspiring read!! Told entirely as diary entries from young Sofia’s unique voice read richly described moments of her life thus far. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. It’s based in New Zealand in the year of my birth, 1976; and captures a moment in time that goes down as a pivotal period for the rights of the Pacific peoples that call New Zealand home. I like the use of her teenage language to set the scene, and the school dramas that are described here are brilliant. Her family and friends make an excellent cast!! I thoroughly enjoyed the historical notes at the end where they talk of the real people involved during these turbulent years: the Polynesian Panthers and David Lange. A good read for anyone interested in learning history!! I actually feel blessed that Scholastic has this series as I have learnt quite a bit about New Zealand and Auckland’s history from these books!!

My rating: 4 ⭐

Additional notes: This title was nominated for the New Zealand Children’s and Young Adult Book Award for Wright Foundation Esther Glen Best Junior Fiction and Best First Book in 2018.

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