Author(s): Bob Kerr
Matt McPherson is cycling around town delivering the last edition of the town newspaper, The New Zealand Times. It is being closed by its owners, but as Matt makes his last deliveries we slip back in time and learn about some of the stories the newspaper has covered since it began in 1840.
Using wonderfully detailed illustrations of the changing landscape of the town in combination with excerpts from the newspaper, author Bob Kerr takes the reader through a brief history of New Zealand, from the first settlers, the gold rushes ...World War I, the Depression of the 1930s, World War II and up to the present day. At the end of the book, we find Matt saving the newspaper by appointing himself editor, putting it online and running it from his laptop. Here the reader can actually go online to a website related to the book to learn more about all of the New Zealand history they have been reading about, from the Treaty of Waitangi to the Howard Morrison Quartet when it came to play in the Memorial Hall in 1960. All of these resources are at Te Ara, our national online encyclopedia.
Changing Times is a fascinating introduction to our history for 7-12-year-olds. It will also engage parents and grandparents who will recognise their own lives and family histories in its pages. But, most importantly, Changing Times is an exciting adventure that places 11-year-old Matt at the centre of the action, something author Bob Kerr has also experienced - as a boy growing up in Tokoroa, his first job was delivering the South Waikato News.
BOB KERR has published many award-winning children's books and has twice been a judge of the New Zealand Post Children's Books Awards.