Maori Boy (2014)
Witi Ihimaera is a consummate storyteller — one critic calling him one of New Zealand's ‘finest and most memorable’. Some of his best stories, however, are about his own life. This honest, stirring work tells of the family and community into which Ihimaera was born, of his early life in rural New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love. As Ihimaera tells of the myths that formed his early imagination, he also reveals the experiences from real life that wriggled into his fiction.
On the East Coast of New Zealand two patriarchs fight to be proclaimed king. Tamihana is the leader of the great Mahana family of shearers and sportsmen. Rupeni Poata is his arch-enemy. They will fight to win the title of Bulibasha and be proclaimed the King of the Gypsies, Caught in the middle of this struggle for power is the grandson of Tamihana and his wife Ramona, the teenage Simeon.
The Whale Rider (1987)
Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary "whale rider." In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild--and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is Kahu who saves the tribe when she reveals that she has the whale rider's ancient gift of communicating with whales.