Ghosts of Parihaka, by David Hair (HarperCollins, RRP $25):
Ghosts of Parihaka is the fifth book in the six-book Aotearoa series and keeps the story of myth and legend ticking along at a great pace.
Matiu Douglas is able to slip between modern New Zealand and the parallel ghost world of Aotearoa.
One of his friends is now a ghost, his enemies have stolen the Treaty of Waitangi and he’s having girl trouble, so all-in-all, Matiu isn’t having a great time.
To add to his woes, he has repeated (and unwanted) marriage proposals from a dangerous, centuries-old tohunga’s daughter.
Author David Hair won the title of best first book in the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Award with The Bone Tiki, which was followed by three sequels. This series is every bit as good, if not better.
While the target audience for the Aotearoa series is young adult readers, the books will appeal to all ages: it’s a simple but effective good versus bad story with enough complexity to be engrossing.