Susan Brocker is a New Zealand author whose books keep getting better and better. Her love of animals and history are obvious in her stories, especially her latest book, The Drover’s Quest. The story is set in 1860s New Zealand and tells the story of Charlotte who joins a drove from Christchurch to the West Coast to find out what has happened to her father. You can read my review here on the blog.
Thanks to Susan’s wonderful publishers, HarperCollins NZ I have 2 copies of The Drover’s Quest to give away. All you have to do to get in the draw is enter your details in the form below. Competition closes Monday 25 June (NZ only).
Over on the Christchurch Kids Blog (Christchurch City Libraries’ blog for children aged 8-12 years) our June Star Author, Susan Brocker has just released a fantastic new book called The Drover’s Quest. It’s filled with Susan’s favourite things, including history and animals, and it’s set in New Zealand in the 1860s.
Rumour is flying around the west coast gold fields that Tom McGee has struck it rich and found a nugget of gold as big as a man’s fist. So no one is surprised when next his campsite is found wrecked and abandoned. Men have been killed for a lot less on the tough goldfields of 1860s New Zealand.
But one person is convinced Tom is not dead. His headstrong daughter, Charlotte. Solving the mystery is not her first task, though. First, she must get to the coast. A skilful horse rider, she disguises herself as a boy and joins a cattle drive across the Southern Alps. To survive the dangerous drive over Arthur’s Pass and to keep her identity hidden from the vicious trail boss, she’ll need the help of her dog, her horse, and her father’s friend, Tama. She knows she can do it – she has to – but what will she find? And will her new American friend, Joseph, help or hinder her quest?
Charlie is in for the ride of her life – and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
If you love stories set in the past, stories about animals or stories with lots of adventure then The Drover’s Quest is the book for you. The story starts in Christchurch and the characters travel over Arthur’s Pass to Hokitika on the West Coast. These are my favourite parts of our beautiful country and I’ve travelled the route they took many times so I could see it clearly in my head. It’s a route that is very quick and easy to travel today but was very rugged and dangerous in the 1860s. There is a very tense part in the book where the drovers are taking the cattle down the Otira Gorge (it had me on the edge of my seat).
I really liked the characters, especially Tama and Joseph who bring different cultures into the story, and Scar because I couldn’t figure out whether he was good or bad. The animals are also important characters in the story and they are incredibly loyal to their masters.
Check out the Christchurch Kids Blog throughout June to find out more about The Drover’s Quest from our June Star Author, Susan Brocker.
5 out of 5 stars
When Finn comes across a car accident, little does he realize that his life is about to change forever. The huge, injured animal he discovers is no dog – but a wolf, escaped from the circus that he went to with his Dad. Finn knows that he must save the wolf, Lupa, and prevent her from returning to the circus and the sinister circus clown, Cackles, who torments her.
Finn takes her to the vet and they patch her up, but then he has to figure out how he will pay the vet bill. Where will he hide her and how will he feed her? When Finn’s Nana discovers Lupa in the wardrobe, he thinks he’ll be in big trouble, but his Nana thinks Lupa is her old dog Molly and she only wants to keep her safe. Meanwhile, Cackles the Clown is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to get Lupa back. But Cackles doesn’t even like wolves though so why is he so determined to get her?
The Wolf in the Wardrobe is a great story about a boy who will do whatever he can to protect his animal friend. Finn gives up the things that he loves so that he can earn extra money to help Lupa and learns all that he can about wolves to help take care of her. Finn’s Nana was my favourite character, because she made me laugh and even though she would forget who Finn was sometimes, she’d help him to care for Lupa. I also liked the character of Cackles because he was so sinister and creepy. If you like books about animals or just a story with great characters, you’ll love Wolf in the Wardrobe by Susan Brocker. Recommended for 9+ 8 out of 10