My New Zealand Story: Lighthouse Family by Philippa Werry
At one stage in New Zealand’s history there were more than 35 occupied lighthouses watching the coast and a guide to shipping. Men tended to the lighthouse while their families or groups of families made a living and went about the business of going to school growing vegetables and socialising, everything that communities do.
Pre teen Francis and her family live on an island somewhere near Auckland along with two other families. She keeps a diary and tells of life on the island. Her family especially the mother and any woman, work hard. Not that the men didn’t but women bore the druggery of living in such isolated communities. It was the social norm.
During the years 1941-1942 after the attack on Pearl harbour, the fall of Singapore and Hong Kong to the Japanese and the bombing of Darwin and submarines in Sydney Harbour, pressure on New Zealand Lighthouse keepers increased. Rumours were rife, alleged sightings became folklore.
This is such a story. The best aspect is really the contrast of children’s life then with what it is today. I can’t see many children doing what Francis does. She is brilliant.
Primary and Intermediate readers mainly but plenty for History buffs.