Deadly Feathers by Des Hunt, Torea Press (www.deshunt.com)
Des is still being published by Scholastic NZ, but he has set up his own imprint to publish a range of shorter novels (eg. Crown Park and Skink Gully). He’s found his niche with stories that have a strong environmental theme, wrapped up in plenty of action and adventure. This novel is set on Stewart Island (and probably based on ideas given to Des by the children and teachers at Half Moon Bay School). The hero is 11-year-old Noah, recent and reluctant arrival on the island with his parents. He’d much rather be enjoying his old life in Auckland.
Noah stumbles across a weird situation – a glimpse of an exotic parrot in the bush, along with a dead kaka. Even a city boy like Noah knows this is not normal. His friend Hailey is not quite sure what to make of his descriptions. But then they discover a lone ocean-going yacht anchored in a quiet bay. And everyone knows that soon one of the most endangered birds in the world is coming to Stewart Island – they have to find out if there really is a disease-carrying parrot loose in the bush…
It’s an easy and interesting read that should appeal to boys of about 8 to 11 who like stories of adventure with an outdoor setting.
ISBN 978 0 9941226 2 9
RRP $12 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman