Amorangi and Millie's Trip Through Time by Lauren Keenan
Amorangi and Millie have lost their mum. Their only clue to her whereabouts is a carving on a tree that says "I’m in the past! Rescue me!" To do this, Amorangi and Millie must travel up every branch of their family tree and collect an object from each ancestor they meet between today and 1832.
They must then be back in the modern day before the sun sets, or they’ll all be trapped forever in the past. But can they do it in time?
In their travels, the children experience aspects of events in New Zealand history, such as the invasion of Parihaka, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Musket Wars and the eruption of Mount Taranaki. They also experience changes in the town and landscape, the attitudes of people and the way people live their lives. Author Lauren Keenan (Te Āti Awa ki Taranaki) has a knack for eloquently showing our younger readers how our past and present are linked.
From next year, Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand's histories will be part of all kura and schools' marau ā-kura and local curriculum. Amorangi and Millie's adventure will make a great choice as a classroom read-aloud for eight to 12-year-olds to complement the curriculum.
Keenan has pitched this book perfectly to the intended independent reader too - it's the right length, has the right vocabulary and features concepts and content that readers are ready to tackle. It's also an action-packed book, with short snappy chapters, that will appeal to some of our more reluctant younger readers.
Amorangi and Millie's Time Trip was a delight to read, with a fun premise that younger readers will enjoy.
Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell Huia, RRP $26