Diary of a Kiwi Kid Series: Book 2
by Robin Lee-Robinson
There is a distinctive New Zealand flavour to this story, plus it includes a glossary of Maori words and phrases in the back matter.
The journal begins with Jack Jondell in Gisborne during 2018. Those unfamiliar with Te Reo may find the opening pages rather disjointed as they flick back and forth to the glossary.
The story’s flow picks up with the step back in time to 1978 when Jack reads his missing grandmother, Rosalyn Jondell’s, diary entries from when she was 10 years old. Rosalyn is a precocious child, with a vivid imagination, who aspires to become a famous writer. The world shown through Rosalyn’s perspective is filled with humorous anecdotes and highlights her quirky personality.
Due to the colloquial historical insights from a snapshot of 1978 New Zealand, and the conversational use of Te Reo, this book would be a useful edition within NZ classrooms. Teachers would need to assess the ages and sensibilities of potential readers due to some of the content – although not graphic, it could be upsetting to younger readers.
In addition to the main story, there’s an underlying mystery of what happened to Rosalyn, who disappeared when she was 18 from Bangladesh. This unresolved factor drives the reader to want to find out more about Rosalyn’s fate in future books in this series.
Review by WJ Scott
Award-Winning Children’s Author
Author: Robin Lee-Robinson
Publisher: Red Hen Books
ISBN: 9 780473498436
Available: Red Hen Books P.O Box 503 Opotiki 3162, email@example.com