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  • Published: 30 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143772392
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $15.99


Master storyteller David Hill traces the fortunes of two New Zealand families over seven generations, through wars, depressions, disasters, protest and social change in this exciting novel for intermediate readers.

Follow the fortunes of two families – their triumphs and disasters, losses and discoveries – in this enthralling novel by a bestselling author.

A family boards a ship bound for New Zealand. What will they find there?

Tests lie ahead – war, earthquakes, protest marches, brushes with death.

And so do some thrilling discoveries . . .

Master storyteller David Hill traces the fortunes of two New Zealand families, through seven generations and over 130 years of fast-flowing change, in this exciting and richly rewarding novel for intermediate readers.

  • Published: 30 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143772392
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $15.99

About the author

David Hill

David Hill is a prolific and highly regarded New Zealand writer, playwright, poet, columnist and critic. Best known for his highly popular and award-winning body of work for young people, ranging from picture books to teenage fiction, his novels have been published all around the world and translated into several languages, and his short stories and plays for young people have been broadcast here and overseas.

Born in Napier, New Zealand, David studied at Victoria University of Wellington and became a high-school teacher, teaching both in New Zealand and the UK. In 1982 he became a full-time writer and his first novel for teenagers, See Ya, Simon (1992), about a boy with muscular dystrophy, was shortlisted for major awards in New Zealand and the UK and won the 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs. An enduringly popular novel used as a class text in high schools all over New Zealand, in 2002 it was awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book.

David has published more than 50 titles over four decades. His middle-grade novels include My Brother's War (2012), which won the Junior Fiction Award and the Children's Choice Junior Fiction Award in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, the LIANZA Librarian's Choice Award and was listed as a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book, a White Raven and an IBBY Honour book. This was followed by novels Brave Company (2014) – also a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book; The Deadly Sky (2015); Enemy Camp (2016), which won the 2016 HELL Children’s Choice Award for Junior Fiction; Flight Path (2017), a Storylines Notable Book; Finding (May 2018), Highly Commended in the New Zealand Heritage Book Awards 2018; and Coastwatcher (2021).

Below (2022) won the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2023. Described as 'a white-knuckle survival story set in a catastrophic tunnel collapse', the judges commended the way 'it trusts its young readers to handle big environmental ideas and come to their own conclusions'.

David is also the author of a number of critically acclaimed picture books with illustrator Phoebe Morris. First to the Top (2015) is their bestselling story of the life of Sir Edmund Hillary, which won the 2016 Children's Choice Award for non-fiction and was a 2016 Storylines Notable Picture Book. Speed King (2016), about the world-record-breaking achievements of Burt Munro, and Sky High (2017), recounting the life of the daring aviator Jean Batten, were both presented with Storylines Notable Picture Book awards. Hero of the Sea: Sir Peter Blake's Mighty Ocean Quests was published in 2018 and Dinosaur Hunter: Joan Wiffen's Awesome Fossil Discoveries was published in 2019.

In 2004 David was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and in 2005 he was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, acknowledging his significant contribution to children's literature in New Zealand.

In November 2021 David was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement - Fiction in recognition of his outstanding contribution to New Zealand Literature.

He lives in New Plymouth with his wife Beth, and juggles his many writing projects with numerous school visits, leading professional development for teachers, mentoring new and emerging writers and tutoring creative writing.

Also by David Hill

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Praise for Finding

I was astonished to find that I have read 46 of David Hill’s books (plus 14 short stories and four poems). I have even heard his words read at a funeral. Yet none of these brought me more pleasure than his latest novel. Finding is the story of one unnamed family and its ties to the land, from Victorian times to the present day. Yet it is not a sprawling family saga; rather it is a connected chain of eight cameos. Eight individuals from seven generations reflect on their experiences and reveal their hopes and dreams...Hill’s narrative technique is ingenious because it means that his readers are also creating and telling the story. We soon know more than any given character, so we are constantly spotting hints and making connections. The past becomes an interwoven tapestry where unexpected objects – magpies, fruit trees, bagpipes, a bridge, a bracelet, an axe handle, a hovering hawk – carry powerful emotional impact...It is entirely appropriate that Finding is dedicated ‘‘to Puketapu and all my people there’’. For them and for all of us this story is a taonga.

Trevor Agnew, Sunday Star-Times

A family saga set in a quiet river valley. Everything this guy writes is class; recommended.

The Spinoff Review of Books

This is the New Zealand story...it brought joy to my soul.

Bob Docherty, Bob's Book Blog

I read this little gem in almost one sitting... [It] stays with you long after it is finished.

Margaret Reilly, Horowhenua Chronicle

An immensely enjoyable read for all ages.

Storylines Christmas List 2018

As a potted history of New Zealand through the eyes of successive generations, an exploration of important themes that underlie community, and as a jolly good read, there is no doubt that Finding will prove a popular book amongst primary and intermediate readers.

Anna Mackenzie, NZ Books

Hill builds an interesting, well-balanced and credible picture of life in New Zealand, in a country area, and is particularly effective in drawing the relationships between the families. There are shared stories which are retold and sometimes recreated in each succeeding generation. The importance of the land on which the families live, and the river which runs through it, comes through strongly; the shared experiences – happy, sad, dangerous, amusing – help in developing a real sense of knowing the families and understanding the need for and importance of trusted friends and neighbours. The voices in each section are authentic and the stories are full of interest, danger, excitement and a great understanding of how New Zealand has been shaped by our inhabitants...a lovely generational story.

Sue Esterman, The Reader

Awards & recognition

NZ Heritage Book Awards

Highly commended  •  2018  •  Fiction Prize, Heritage Book Awards and Writing Competition