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It’s 1947, and Jim and his sister Mavis have seen something extraordinary in their backyard. A magnificent black huia – a bird thought to have been extinct for the past 40 years. Concerned for the huia’s safety, Jim and Mavis decide to follow the bird down a rail tunnel and into a reserve. Then they learn there are people who want to harm the bird – and their adventure quickly becomes a race to save the bird’s life.
40 years later, many are eager to learn what happened to the last huia; and the only surviving person who knows is Jim. Now an old man, Jim is fighting cancer and never speaks about the fate of the bird…but a group of scientists need his story to unravel the mystery of the extinct species. With the help of his grandson Logan, Jim shows remarkable storytelling skills as he tells his tale. However, not everyone believes Jim’s story, and there is a dangerous hooded figure haunting their steps to find the bird. It’s up to Logan to help his grandfather prove himself, and to continue the battle to uncover the truth – to find the last huia…
Des Hunt’s novels never fail to amaze and inspire. Project Huia is an excellent tale full of adventure, mystery and action, written in a beautiful fashion that will enchant readers both young and old. This is a superb book, which will make you think differently about the way you see endangered species and remind you of the importance of family and loyalty.
Reviewed by Tierney Reardon
by Des Hunt
Published by Scholastic NZ