NZ Children’s Book Review Blog

Hi everyone …this is from Kathy Derrick  (ex home educator) who is starting up this review blog and would like some entries for her competition  from home educators
My blog address is My January guest author is Janine McVeagh who wrote Earthquake! The Diary of Katie Bourke, Napier, 1930-31. I have posted the review of her book today and will post her interview next week.

The idea of the blog is to provide teachers, parents, librarians and students (approx Years 7-10, ages 10-14) with a resource for the study of New Zealand books and authors. Each month a new book/author will be featured. In the first week of the month I will review a book, in the second week I will interview the author, in the third week I’ll provide a writing tip for students and in the fourth week of the month I will publish a student’s story which will have been selected by the guest author. Students will need to submit their stories to me, I will shortlist them then pass them onto the guest author for them to choose their favourite.

This site is more than a book review site. With each book review I will add pertinent links to reinforce or expand the topic so students can explore the subject in full if they choose. It is also a site to come to for writing tips (I will always ask the author for their best writing tip and I will provide one a month as well) and provides an opportunity for students to see their own work published on line. Unfortunately I will not be able to publish every story received and initially will publish the guest author’s favourite as outlined above. If there are heaps of good stories (and I’m sure there will be) I’ll start a new blog just for that.

I haven’t yet formulated the competition aspect of the blog but want to open up the competition to all homeschooled students for the February issue. Diana Menefy will be the guest author. I hope you can get this information to as many families as possible so they can have a go. Competition details just for February are below. Note that these may change after February and families should check on the Competition page on the blog for any new instructions.

Competition Details (CLOSES 10 FEB 2012):

  • Aimed at students in Years 7-10 (approx ages 10-14) although I will accept entries from either side.
  • Each entry must include the student’s name and age and the title of the story.
  • Stories can be on any topic but must be 750 words or less.
  • There is no payment for stories and no guarantee a story will be published on the blog.
  • The story must be the work of the student submitting it. First rights revert to the student author upon publication, although I reserve the right to anthologize material originally published here in electronic or printed format. I will advise if this should be the case so please ensure contact details are supplied with the submission.
  • Please submit stories in the body of an email (NOT as an attachment) to with Writing Competition February in the subject line.
  • Any questions contact me

Looking forward to lots of submissions between now and 10 Feb.




From the Smiths:

Updated 10 December 2011: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 click here


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One thought on “NZ Children’s Book Review Blog

  1. Hi,

    I’m writing an online serial adventure story set in NZ for children aged 10 ish to 14 ish. The story and the experience of writing it will make up part of the Master’s thesis I’m working on. I would love the chance to write something for your site on any aspect of online fiction, and of course, let people know about my story.

    Check out the home page of the serial, which has a blurb, etc, and my blog, to see if this might be appropriate for you site.

    It would be great to hear from you. Best regards, Michelle

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