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When Hene’s parents send her away from the pa, Hene knows that life will be difficult. A new disease is spreading fast across the village. When her brother Taehi catches it, Hene has no choice but to leave and live with the missionaries.
Hene is thrown into a world vastly different from her own. Far from her family, she has to attend school, learn to sew and wear a heavy dress. Times are tense, and more than anything she wishes to go home- but when she meets a mysterious girl called Rangi, Hene can’t help but be curious. Why is she so secretive about living in Kororareka?
Soon Hene makes friends with Rangi, and is beginning to settle into her temporary home- but then Hone Heke attacks Kororareka. Hene sees smoke rising into the air from the other side of the bay- the town has been set on fire; and Rangi is alone there. If Hene wants to save her friend, she must risk danger and face her fears to reach the burning harbour.
Hene and the Burning Harbour is the second book in the ‘New Zealand Girl’ series. Similar to the ‘My Story’ series, but targeted at a slightly younger age group, ‘New Zealand Girl ‘teaches children (girls aged 7 to 12 in particular) what it was like to live in certain periods of New Zealand history as a child. These novels are written using fresh perspectives and an enthralling style that will have you turning pages in total rapture.
Reviewed by Tierney Reardon
Hene and the Burning Harbour
by Paula Morris
Published by Penguin Books (Puffin)