Thursday, September 24, 2009

MY STORY: No Survivors!
The Diary of Jackie Simms, Hamilton, 1979
Sharon Holt
Scholastic - $17.99

This new title by Sharon Holt makes a welcome addition to the highly popular and widely acclaimed NZ historical series, MY STORY, this one based around NZ’s worst air disaster.
Synopsis: Growing up in 1970s Hamilton, Jackie Simms is sustained by two great loves: the Swedish supergroup Abba, and her older brother’s friend, Davey. But Jeff and Davey have a great adventure planned that doesn’t include Jackie … a scenic flight to Antarctica.
Through the eyes of one who was left behind we experience the horror and the aftermath of the airline crash on Mt Erebus, New Zealand’s worst air disaster the 30th anniversary of which will be marked in November this year.

About the author:
Auckland-born Sharon Holt is a published writer with 24 fiction and non-fiction stories, picture books, poems and plays to her credit. Her stories tend to be about daily family life, and many of her children’s stories have a ‘story behind the story’.
She now lives in the small Waikato town of Kihikihi.
It’s True! You Can Make Your Own Jokes, written by Sharon Holt and illustrated by Ross Kinnaird, was shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young People. This book was also on the Storylines 2007 Notable Books list.

Along with many other reviewers I have great admiration for this series where each My Story provides a vivid sketch of a moment in history... making history come to life in a well-written and accessible manner for young readers. I offer my congratulations to the publishers and their authors.
Here is what some others have said about the My Story series:

"a great way ... to experience New Zealand history through the eyes of another child"
— Magpies
"authentic stuff: good historical fiction, where the story comes first"
— NZ Post Judges’ Report
"a fascinating glimpse of a lifestyle that has vanished into the realms of history"
— The Marlborough Express
Here is the complete and impressive list of titles in the MY STORY series. May there be many more.

Journey to Tangiwai
The Diary of Peter Cotterill, Napier, 1953
by David Hill

A Better Life
The Diary of Ivana Ivanovich, Dargaville, 1924-25
by Amelia Batistich

Abandon Ship!
The Diary of Debbie Atherton, Wellington, 1968
by Shirley Corlett

Finding Father
The Journal of Mary Brogan, Otago, 1862
by Pauline Cartwright

The Diary of Katie Bourke, Napier, 1930-31
by Janine McVeagh

A New Song in the Land
The Writings of Atapo, Paihia, c.1840
by Fleur Beale

Below the Mountains
The Diary of Amy McDonald, Milford Road, 1935-36
by Jean Bennett

Chinatown Girl
The Diary of Silvey Chan, Auckland, 1942
by Eva Wong Ng

Fire in the Sky
The Diary of James Collier, Tarawera, 1886
by Shirley Corlett

A Long Way from Home
The Diary of Lillian Glenmore, Warkworth, 1943
by Lorraine Orman

Escape from Sarau
The Diary of Emilie Ritter, Nelson District, 1882-83
by Leone Morris-Bensemann

Aquarius, My Ohu Year
The Diary of Starshine Penney, 1975
by Jill Brasell

The Diary of Samuel Abraham Clark, Disappointment Island, 1907
by Bill O’Brien

Sitting on the Fence
The Diary of Martin Daly, Christchurch, 1981
by Bill Nagelkerke

Kauri In My Blood
The Diary of Laura Ann Findlay, the Coromandel, 1921-24
by Joanna Orwin

Be Counted
The Diary of Amy Phelps, Dunedin, 1893
by Janine McVeagh

Land of Promise
The Diary of Will Donahue, Gravesend to Wellington, 1839-40
by Lorraine Orman

The Diary of Rowan Webb, Auckland, 1985
by Sharon Holt

Poor Man’s Gold
The Diary of Reuben Radcliffe, Northland, 1899-1900
by Kath Beattie

“The Mine’s Afire!”
The Journal of Tommy Carter, Brunnerton, 1896
by Susan Battye & Thelma Eakin

No Survivors
The Diary of Jackie Simms, Hamilton, 1979
by Sharon Holt

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