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If you like ... NZ disaster fiction for kids

No Safe Harbour
No Safe Harbour By Hill, David (Book - 2003 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:An exciting trip home to Wellington becomes a fight for survival as the interisland ferry, Wahine, is thrown on to jagged rocks and begins to sink. Will fifteen-year-old twins Sandra and Stuart make it to shore?

A Canoe in the Mist
A Canoe in the Mist By Locke, Elsie (Book - 2005 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:Lillian lives with her mother at Te Wairoa, where tourists come to see the Pink and White Terraces. But a mysterious ‘waka wairua’, a ghost canoe, has been seen on the lake, and a tohunga is prophesying doom and disaster.

Abandon Ship!
Abandon Ship! The Diary of Debbie Atherton, Wellington, 1968 By Corlett, Shirley (Book - 2003 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:Debbie's grandmother gives her a copy of her ancestor's old sea journal. Is her long-dead relative trying to give her a message? When she is caught in the interisland ferry Wahine sinking, can the journal help her to survive? Part of the "My Story" series.

"The Mine's Afire!"
"The Mine's Afire!" The Journal of Tommy Carter, Brunnerton, 1896 By Battye, Susan (Book - 2009 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations
Fire in the Sky
Fire in the Sky The Diary of James Collier, Tarawera, 1886 By Corlett, Shirley (Book - 2005 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:James and his father have travelled to the village of Te Wairoa so that his father can paint the marvellous Pink and White Terraces. But one night the earth begins to shake, and an enormous volcanic eruption lights the sky. Mt Tarawera has erupted.

Journey to Tangiwai
Journey to Tangiwai The Diary of Peter Cotterill, Napier, 1953 By Hill, David (Book - 2003 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:Peter is a scout, and his patrol is travelling by train to Auckland to compete in a first aid contest. But it is Christmas Eve, 1953, and the crater wall of Mt Ruapehu has collapsed, sending a torrent of mud, water and ice down into the Whangehu River, and smashing the rail bridge near the small town of Tangiwai.

Earthquake The Diary of Katie Bourke, Napier, 1930-31 By McVeagh, Janine (Book - 2004 ) OLDER FICTION In-library use only at this time in some locations

Annotation:It is the time of the Great Depression, and Katie Bourke’s family are finding it a struggle to keep food on the table. But when Katie returns to school after the summer holidays, everything appears to be normal until the classroom floor begins to shake…

Below the Mountains
Below the Mountains The Diary of Amy McDonald, Milford Road, 1935-36 By Bennett, Jean (Book - 2005 ) OLDER FICTION Available in some locations

Annotation:It is 1935 during the Great Depression, and Amy’s Dad is working on the new Milford Road in Fiordland. But the risk from avalanches is high, especially in the area where the Homer Tunnel is being driven through the mountains…

Annotation:We have lots of information about New Zealand disasters on our fact pages.

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If you want to read stories based on historical disasters in New Zealand, try these books. A Christchurch City Libraries list.

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