Walk down New Zealand's HALL of FAME and discover 50 remarkable kiwi. Find out who told his Intermediate class he was going to be Prime Minister one day, declared they were going to be Olympic champions when they grew up, had second sight, used to go camping in the bush by himself from seven years old, saved three birds from extinction, was the first person to rear squid in captivity, has been sailing since she was a baby, designed his own hydro dam at 13 years, made up her own poems from four years old, wrote stories on his bedroom wall, began filming from seven years, was selected to be a master carver from 15 years and lots more fascinating tales about some of New Zealand's most remarkable people. See film stills of their lives, tally up the trophy boards, and be inspired by their quotes.

Featuring award winning Bruce Potter's illustrations and Maria Gill's interviews with 50 famous New Zealanders.

Shortlisted for the:
  • 2012 LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal - Non-Fiction category
  • 2012 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards
    and won the Children's Choice Award for Non-Fiction.
  • 2012 Storylines Notable Book in the non-fiction category

ISBN: 978-1-86966-312-4
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: New Holland Publishers
Illustrator: Bruce Potter


In recent years New Holland have made a focussed effort to publish high-interest non-fiction for young New Zealanders. Their latest title is a testament to their commitment to producing texts that are affordable and of high quality... Read More
Reviewed by Julie Harper in Magpie Magazine, May 2011

A new children's book highlighting some of the nation's most famous Kiwis features Gisborne artists and leaders with East Coast connections ... Read More
Reviewed by Alice Te Puni in Gisborne Herald, May 2011

Each person has a double page spread devoted to them, which inlcudes a passport listing, comic strips, a trophy board, diary entries and general biographical information ... Read More
Reviewed by Crissi Blair in New Zealand Herald, July 2011

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Journal Note

I floated the idea of writing a book on famous New Zealanders early on in my writing career but I wasn't ready for it then. I had to establish a publishing record and finish a journalism diploma first.

All my journalism skills came into practice when finding contact addresses for the famous people – some were very hard to find. I telephoned Sir Peter Snell in the States, skyped Matahi Brightwell in Tahiti and spoke to Oscar Kightley, Sir Ray Avery, Mark Inglis, Don Merton, Rhys Darby and other high-achieving men over the phone. I also interviewed the talented Susan Devoy, Barbara Kendall, Swindell and Runga sisters, Margaret Mahy and other wonderful women.

It was such a huge dilemma who to put in. I came back to the premise that it had to be people that 8-14 year olds would find interesting. I also wanted to cover a diverse range of achievements and tried to get a balance of genders and cultures. I didn't want too many dead famous and needed to include plenty of people who were still making their mark. Everyone will find someone who they've been dying to know just a little bit more about ...

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