Kids books

Fighting Past Each Other: the New Zealand Wars 1845-1872
Reed Childrens Books, Auckland, 2006

'Isn't Fighting Past Each Other a great title? It grabs the attention and, together with the superb cover design, makes this obviously a book worth a look, and my goodness, there are no disappointments within... [a] fabulous mix of pictures and ...vignettes showing key sites as they appear today, not to mention the odd horrid rogue... Not just for school libraries this, every home deserves one!'
- Mick Ludden, Wairarapa Times-Age, 16 September 2006.

'...the perfect introduction to the causes, events and results of the New Zealand Wars. It is well written in a fresh and accessible style, with a language level pitched nicely at young readers. The factual balance is right and the coverage spot on. The text and illustrations work perfectly together....Wright even gives a brilliant sketch of the historiography of the wars.  Above all, he makes his history interesting, even witty...'
- Trevor Agnew, Magpies, 25 March 2007.

The New Zealand wars began in 1845 and went on for nearly 30 years, a succession of conflicts that spanned the length of the North Island from the Bay of Islands to Wellington. What they meant has been debated ever since. To some they were land wars, to others, the Maori wars; and only lately have we begun calling them the New Zealand wars. And this has not been the only argument. Why were they fought in the first place? Who really won them? Were they the means by which Maori and pakeha became fast friends, as historians liked to say in the early twentieth century? 

In reality these wars were fought over both land and sovereignty. In the process, the British, settlers and allied Maori ended up fighting other Maori, and by the late 1860s the wars had really become a civil war. And the fighting was tough for all who fought in them. 

In this childrens introduction to the New Zealand wars, Matthew Wright outlines what happened and why. 

Fighting Past Each Other was selected to appear in the Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust's New Zealand Notable New Zealand Books List 2007.

48 pp 
ISBN 10: 1 86948 424 X

Out of print.


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