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No One Went To Town (May, #1)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews
‘No one went to town’ is the exciting true story of May Tarrant and her family breaking in a farm in the high steep hills of Taranaki in the North Island of New Zealand in the early 1900’s. It is the first much loved book in the ‘May’ series and was originally published in 1980 and was reprinted several times. In 2017, this book was reprinted.
194 pages
Published 1980 by Price Milburn Ltd
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Caroline Haught
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
New Zealand's answer to Laura Ingalls Wilder ' s Little House on the Prairie, this beautifully written book is an insight into the lives of New Zealand's pioneers. Based on the life of the author's mother, the book describes a year in the life of a colonial family. In the detail familiar to fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Johnston describes the intensive clearing of the land and sowing of grass needed to create land for farming as well as the day to day trials and triumphs - soap making, ...more
Mia Thomas
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
great kiwi history book
Nia Glain Chesswas
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous and unique NZ historical stories. So glad they have been re-printed this year as they have been really hard to find.
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice read for learning about a NZ pioneer family in the Taihore Hills
Ryan McArthur
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing history, they lived in a ponga log house (what? it was waterproof? must ahve been crumbly) and loads of interesting things happened. Dead keen to read the rest of the books.
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A young child's eye view of early pakeha life in NZ in the Stratford area of the North Island. The main presenter , May was born in 1898 and appears to be around 6 or 7 years old in this part of the family's story. The family of 6 at first live in a ponga whare while cutting down trees, raising livestock, hunting , establishing fruit trees and a vegetable garden, making their own soap, bread etc. Life is a constant round of jobs especially when the men build a house with hand sawn timber and ...more
Amy Paulussen
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Really interesting novel about turn-of-the-century pioneer-life in NZ. Very day-in-the-life but lots of dramas do happen. It's just there's no over-arching story that really pulls me along. Maybe I'm just too old for it - it is a middle-grade novel - but I did enjoy the 5-year-old narrator, that limited understanding, and Johnston pulls it off: the reader understands more than the narrator. Lots of procedural stuff - how they made bread, how they built a house, how they got supplies, or crossed ...more
Karen Dransfield
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A story about NZ history. Settlers out in the bush surviving and making ends meet. It includes really good descriptions of what the family does, things like how they make soap, how they make bread, details about doing the daily chores and what life was like with no amenities. A good story to read to younger kids or as a self read for a young adult. First story in a series.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great book about life in the early settlers days in New Zealand. A treasure of 'how things are made'... a vivid picture of the hardship and good times of these old days... Every school should read this to their children....
May 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Phylis Johnson wrote fabulous books about places that I knew very well as a child set in the pioneering back blocks of the Waikato and Taranaki. I really want to go back and read them as an adult.
Mar 20, 2014 added it
Shelves: family-reads
May and her brothers setting up a farm inland from Stratford - Tahora. Two more in this series to read later.
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Matiu Andrews-Cookson
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing story about pioneering life in New Zealand and an absolute national treasure. The stories are real biographical accounts with heavy input from the protagonist, May Tarrant. I listened to it read out when I was a kid and it is just as good now, reading out to my kids. If you like Laura Ingalls-Wilder, there is a good chance you will like No One Went To Town. Take care with young children that the stories are less sanitized than Ingalls-Wilder and there are a few parts of the ...more
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Phyllis Johnston is a children's writer with a particular interest in New Zealand history. She has been involved in literary organisations for many years, serving as president of Bookrapt (the Bay of Plenty Children's Literature Association) for over two decades. Her stories have appeared in numerous editions of the School Journal and she has taught children’s writing at Waikato University. Her ...more