Home > Intermediate Fiction, Junior Fiction > Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew.

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew.

January 20, 2015

conrad cooperConrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew. Pub. Puffin Books, 2014.

Ten year old Conrad Cooper is a boy who thinks seriously about life and takes things literally. He lives with his mother who is a little skittish and doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself and  Gaz a policeman and control freak who oozes paranoia every time he is in the story. He is Conrad’s stepfather and while he doesn’t beat him he holds Conrad’s mother to task every time Conrad brings up something awkward and Conrad does this a lot.

Conrad wants to talk to someone and after studying the myth of Rangi and Papa and learning about Tane god of the forest he decides Tane is going to be the god he speaks to because other gods may be too busy.

Jasper is Conrad’s friend in a manner of speaking and he tells Conrad he can’t have Tane as a god because he is not Maori. This opens up a whole can of worms most of it hugely tongue in cheek and funny. Conrad thinks if he becomes a Maori then things will be fine but how does he do this?

It is 1978 and this book is very much a time piece for the age. The big thing happening in NZ is the Bastion Point occupation. Conrad gets involved and Gaz his stepfather does not like it.

A good read -a -loud for years 5/6 and 7/8. Told with humour and understanding by Leonie Agnew. It is great to have a child’s view of the Bastion Point occupation, I am sure we can laugh at it, this is not Paris.

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