Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood” as Want to Read:
Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
An enthralling memoir, packed with stories of the formative years of this much-loved writer.

Witi Ihimaera is a consummate storyteller — one critic calling him one of New Zealand's ‘finest and most memorable’. Some of his best stories, however, are about his own life. This honest, stirring work tells of the family and community into which Ihimaera was born, of his early lif
...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 7th 2014 by Vintage
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Māori Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Māori Boy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Caryn
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book and looking forward to the next one. Found the way it was written confusing at times as things are not described in a traditional Western oldest to newest chronology. Instead, ancient Maori myths were interwoven with descriptions of Ihimaera's childhood and genealogy. As a New Zealander, I learnt so much about our country's heritage through reading this book.
Alison
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must come clean and admit I fought this book for much of the first half. When I picked it up, I knew little about Maori culture, or Ihimaera, and I just figured that I would learn more by reading him talk about his experiences as a child. Only this book is not written like that, because Ihimaera knows you can't understand his life without his whakapapa. So this book spirals around the stories of Ihimaera and his ancestors and family, moving around in time and following various threads. The sta ...more
Steph
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, own-it
To explain his childhood, Ihimaera needs to go back further and share the stories of his ancestors. This memoir in its telling is a great exploration of concepts of whanau and whakapapa. I think it would be a great idea for all New Zealanders to read this book to help them understand the effects of colonisation and its ongoing consequences. And also the differences and similarities between the Treaty partners' cultures.
Jayne  Downes
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
I enjoyed this memoir which was a fascinating window on Witi Ihimaera's life and family up to the time he was at secondary school. There were a lot of details about his ancestors and family so it was difficult to keep track of everyone, however it didn't get boring because of his anecdotes about the people.The photos were also interesting and added to the stories. Ihimaera gives many examples of how Pakeha ethnocentrism has affected himself and his family so it was a very thought provoking book.
Jennifer
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This will easily make its way onto my favorites of the year list. Witi Ihimaera tells his whakapapa (genealogy), the story of his growing up years, and maybe a little of New Zealand whakapapa too. He illustrates how our history remains part of us, even when we don't realize it, and how knowing our history helps us know ourselves.

Life is not about waiting for someone to come and rescue you, but about finding instead the courage to strike out for that distant shore, wherever it is.
Isen
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
The core of the book is an autobiographical account of the author's childhood but, as the author argues that it is impossible to give an account of a Maori life without talking about the whakapapa, there are also extensive sections on Maori myth, history, and anecdotes of the happenings in the author's extended family. These are often not separate, but blend from one into another -- the author may have heard a myth from his mother, which leads him to talk about her. His mother was proud of her h ...more
NBHS Library
To explain his childhood, Ihimaera needs to go back further and share the stories of his ancestors. This memoir in its telling is a great exploration of concepts of whanau and whakapapa. I think it would be a great idea for all New Zealanders to read this book to help them understand the effects of colonisation and its ongoing consequences. And also the differences and similarities between the Treaty partners' cultures.
Jill Mccaw
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, nz-authours
This isn't a quick read but it is a good one. A dense and authentic look at NZ life in the '50s. Fascinating and touching.
Jill
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
To know Witi Ihimaera, you have to know his whakapapa, or who his ancestors were. So in this very ‘meaty’ memoir of a childhood, you get to know about Witi’s parents (and the three tellings of how they met)and his grandmother, a huge influence in Witi’s life. You also get a good grounding in Maori history, we learn about the Maori in the Great War, and about Te Kooti, when he founded the Ringatu religion and escaped from the Chatham Island’s. We go back further still, into the mists of time as I ...more
Sarah
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aotearoa
This is a compulsory read for Witi Ihimaera fans - it gives a real insight into his childhood and the reasons he can hold his own in both the Māori world and the Pākeha world. The inspirations for his much-loved novels such as Bulibasha, The Matriarch and the Dream Swimmer also all become clear on reading "Māori boy". I really enjoy Witi's writing style and the way he weaves his remembered reality with family lore and traditional stories. A Pākeha may start their memoir with their earliest memor ...more
Cara
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did really like this memoir. It was honest and filled with the trappings of a different world to mine. It made me more interested in whakapapa and details a history far greater than just the one of Ihimaera. An interesting read.
Sue
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant memoir. Interesting style - there's the story, and then there's the tikanga, and it is such a clever way to remind the reader of the enormous importance of the ancestors in Witi's life. Highly recommended.
Kellie
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-kindle
Start 20th
Stuart
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2015
Alice Lee
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2017
Christopher Lorier
rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2016
Dee
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2014
Kate Hodgetts
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2017
RMC
rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2017
Michele
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2016
Mandy
rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2014
Joanna
rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2017
Ellie
rated it it was amazing
Oct 29, 2017
Tess Lay
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2015
Julie
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2015
greg daniels
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2015
Sarah
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2018
Rodney Farrant
rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2016
Hungrycaterpillar
rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2015
Duncan Croft
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Witi Ihimaera in CHCH 1 4 Nov 16, 2014 01:11PM  
131 followers
Witi Ihimaera is a novelist and short story writer from New Zealand, perhaps the best-known Māori writer today. He is internationally famous for The Whale Rider.

Ihimaera lives in New Zealand and is of Māori descent and Anglo-Saxon descent through his father, Tom. He attended Church College of New Zealand in Temple View, Hamilton, New Zealand. He was the first Māori writer to publish both a novel a
...more