About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Monday, July 23, 2012

When the Kehua Calls by Kingi McKinnon

When the Kehua Calls (Scholastic, 2002)
This short novel was written by the late Maori author Kingi McKinnon and tells of a youth called Rewi relocating from the city to the country with his family. The young city-slicker forms a close bond with his cousin who explains many Maori customs and tells Rewi about ghosts, or kehua that can haunt places for many years. Rewi has a form of second sight, where he can sense an evil kehua around his new country home. But Rewi doubts his own visions. Eventually he finds he must trust his Maori instincts in order to save the life of his little sister.
   For such a short book, McKinnon did well to create a sinister feel early on and to ratchet up the tension quickly.
   I learnt a lot about Maori customs from this story, which from the author's notes was his main intention of writing the story.
   When the Kehua Calls has a glossary in the back to help readers with the Maori words. I recommend this well crafted book to middle school readers as it's short and sweet and not too challenging a read.

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