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About the book
  • Published: 23 July 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143308157
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $16.99

The Deadly Sky


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Darryl felt the aircraft turning, swinging towards the right. They were heading towards Mururoa. And towards the nuclear bomb waiting there. The bomb due to explode in fifty-seven minutes.

The plane bucked sideways, flinging Darryl against the cabin wall. It plunged vertically, jolted so hard that his teeth clacked together, then started skidding downwards through the sky. The screams rose to a frenzy. Then Darryl felt the aircraft turning, swinging towards the right. They were heading towards Mururoa. And towards the nuclear bomb waiting there. The bomb due to explode in fifty-seven minutes.
 
It's 1974, and a dark, cold New Zealand winter. So when Darryl's mum announces she is going to the remote Pacific island of Mangareva for work, and she's taking him with her, he is thrilled. 
But even as Darryl soaks up the warmth and peaceful beauty of French Polynesia, his holiday is darkened by violent anti-nuclear protests. Plus there's Alicia, with her furious outbursts against all Pacific nuclear tests. Darryl knows she's talking rubbish.
What he doesn't know is that when he boards Flight 766 to fly home, his life and the lives of others will be changed forever.
Also available as an eBook

  • Pub date: 23 July 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143308157
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $16.99

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 40 titles over the past three decades. His recent middle-grade novels include My Brother's War (2012), which in 2013 won the Junior Fiction Award and the Children's Choice Junior Fiction Award in the 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; and Finding (May 2018).

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.

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.

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Praise for The Deadly Sky

“'David Hill'sThe Deadly Sky is set in 1974, when the nuclear proliferation of the Cold War was at the forefront of political debate, and France was, quite literally, dropping bombs in the South Pacific. Modern global terror has a different focus (the Big Red Button seems old-fashioned from today's perspective), but the ethical quandaries at the heart of the arms race - whether militarisation works to promote security or to endanger it; whether national and global security is worth its economic, ecological and individual cost - remain pertinent. ... Darryl's story is moving and engaging, the issues raised emotionally and intellectually complex.' --Angelina Sbroma, NZ Books”

PRH, PRH


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