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Archives > Fantasy/Sci Fi Books with Maori characters?

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message 1: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments I have a question that someone might be able to help me with. An american book blogger that I really enjoy, recently started a series of posts about "non-white protagonists" in Fantasy/Sci Fi books. She is part-Hispanic and always on the lookout for more books with varied ethnicities etc that her and her children can read. She asked me about any Sci fi/Fantasy books with Polynesian/Pacific protagonists - help! Do you know any books with Maori characters/settings that I could refer her to please? Thank you!


message 2: by Angie (new)

Angie (seren-lucy) | 1147 comments Great question! Sorry I can't help. Says it all really, doesn't it!?


message 3: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments Do any of Maurice Gee's books fit? I havent read all of his.


message 4: by Angie (last edited Feb 17, 2012 11:53AM) (new)

Angie (seren-lucy) | 1147 comments I've only read Under the Mountain and the main characters in that were red-haired pakeha twins!


message 5: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments Haha! i guess not that one then...Is any of Keri Hulmes stuff 'fantasy'?


message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie Scott (juliezbscott) | 6 comments The only sci-fi book I know of with a Maori protagonist is Aroha by Anaru Bickford. It is more YA than children's (although my 13 year old daughter really liked it). The main character is Maori and it draws on a lot of Maori mythology but is actually set in America.


message 7: by J (new)

J (ngaiob) Hmmm - what age level? The Whale Rider is probably one that would be available in America. Off the top of my head for YA I'd suggest David Hair and Karen Healey. I confess I haven't actually read David Hair yet, and I can't remember now which of Karen Healey's characters are Maori, but both bring in some mythology. For younger Take The Long Path? I haven't read that in literally decades so couldn't say how it has dated. There is something else lurking at the bottom of my brain - not Gaelyn Gordon but roughly that era I think. Next time I am in the library I may have to go for a wander through the stacks now to unearth it. Not that I need to add anything to my should re-read list!


message 8: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments thanks for the suggestions ladies. I will pass them on to the blogger in question.


message 9: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments That one sounds like something i would like to read - a dystopian read? Thanks for the tip Jane.


message 10: by Sterling (new)

Sterling Gate Books (sterlinggatebooks) | 8 comments Our historical novel Fiji is set in the South Pacific. It has Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian characters.


message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Dixon (kiwikathleen) | 1479 comments Margaret Mahy's Kaitangata Twitch is a definite, with Maori mythology and several Maori characters. The key character is a girl with a Maori mother and Pakeha father.
I'm pretty sure some of her other YA and Children's novels contain Maori characters though it's so long since I read them that I can't remember titles off-hand. Mahy does a lot of alluding to racial characteristics rather than making it explicit. Also her fantasy is set in a contemporary setting and quite often an undercurrent. But my recollection is that there are tie-ins to Maori mythology quite often.
By the way, the TV series for Kaitangata Twitch was excellent too.


message 12: by Lani (new)

Lani Young (laniwendtyoung) | 12 comments thank you for the suggestions and the links. Appreciate it!


message 13: by Kerry (last edited Mar 06, 2012 03:51AM) (new)

Kerry | 121 comments Joanna Orwin has written several fantasies with Maori characters - The Guardian of the Land, Ihaka and the Summer Wandering, Owl and others.

Gaelyn Gordon's Stonelight, first in a trilogy. I love the cover.
Stonelight by Gaelyn Gordon
Also The Unknown Zone by Phil Smith (2005), The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner, Joy Cowley's Hunter (2005), & The Unquiet by Carolyn McCurdie (2006).


message 14: by Tui (last edited Mar 13, 2012 12:37AM) (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 282 comments What about the "Silent One" by Joy Cowley. That's a Polynesian setting isn't it?
Here's what I found when I googled it and I remember just LOVING this story:

Joansi is a uniquely gifted boy sent from the sea as a baby to grow up in an isolated Pacific village. Unable to speak, Joansi retreats to his underwater world where he develops a special friendship with a huge white turtle. But when Jonasi and the turtle are seen as evil spirits by the superstitious villagerss, Jonasi relaises there is only one way to save the turtle - and himself.

Winner New Zealand Children's Book of the Year 1980
"A book that will not be forgotten." New York Times Educational Supplement.
"Brilliantly evocative." The Horn Book.
Made into a film in 1982, "The Silent One" is still featured on the Disney channel.
Publisher: Penguin NZ Ltd, Private Bag 102902, NSMC, Auckland, NZ.


message 15: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 282 comments The protagonist in my own book, (Ripple) is non-white and living in the South Pacific literally. She's an emerald green dolphin of 20 million years ago and her love interest is azure blue. It's definitely sci-fi fantasy, though very slight on the sci-fi elements and more what I think of as environmental fantasy. It would suit teenagers or adults.


message 16: by Angela (new)

Angela Oliver (lemurkat) | 50 comments I strongly recommend David Hair's trilogy. The first, "The Bone Tiki" is a little clumsy, but it quickly gains momentum.


message 17: by Abby (new)

Abby | 1 comments Late to the party, but try Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox.


message 18: by Gary (new)

Gary Weston | 11 comments Just to mention my Kiwi fiction set in North Island New Zealand, My Dusty Miller books, are available on Amazon etc, will soon be available as a box set of the first five books at a very low price of 3.45$ US in a week or so.
Dusty Miller 1 is perma free anyway.
Also, One Man's Dream also set in the Manawatu region is free at the moment. Just thought you would like to know. Gary Weston


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