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Kiwis at War

The Kiwis at War series, by Scholastic New Zealand.

A teen historical fiction series, with five New Zealand writers, about the Great War.

1914: Ride to War, by Susan Brocker - published 2014

1915: Wounds of War, by Di Menefy - published 2015

and coming soon: 1916: Dig for Victory, by David Hair - release date 1 September 2016


Dig for Victory is a novel about the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion, and their activities during 1916, the year in which the battalion was formed and then deployed first at Armentieres, and then at the Somme. It is a tale of war, the brotherhood of soldiers, and of two cultures finding each other on the far side of the world.


"As we Otago lads have only enough men for two squadrons, the General has decided that we are to be merged with the Maori contingents to form a new battalion. We will be called ‘Pioneers’, and will do behind-the-lines work: building barracks, railroads, roads and trenches. As you can imagine, Father, we’re not happy – we want to fight, not dig holes.”

When Leith McArran signed up to fight in a war half a world away, little did he know that he and his fellow Dunedin Scots would end up shovelling dirt with Maori lads from home, nor that he’d become best mates with a young orphan named Tamati Baines, who is haunted by nightmares of steel serpents and blood-red butterflies – visions that might save them from a secret enemy - or get them both killed.