Dreams of Warriors

Bella, a determined teenage girl, holds the fate of her family’s dreams in her hands against the backdrop of World War II. Can she tame a crazy horse and save the family farm?

Featherston, New Zealand, in the Second World War is a tough and bleak place for fourteen-year-old Bella. Her father is away fighting overseas, while his family fight to save their farm from ruin and keep his dreams alive. Bella, her mother, and older sister, must cope with a herd of dairy cows, an unscrupulous neighbour who covets the farm, and a crazy, bad-tempered racehorse called Gipsy. Bella is terrified of the horse and doesn’t know where to turn.

When help is offered from an unlikely source, will she have the courage to accept it, or will Gipsy destroy her father’s dreams?

Written by Susan Brocker

$23.00 incl. GST

1 in stock

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Best suited for nine- to fifteen-year-olds. Dreams of Warriors was a 2011 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book and a finalist in the 2011 LIANZA Esther Glen Award.


Dreams of Warriors…is an outstanding and extremely well researched book crafted by a woman who is passionate about history, animals and storytelling. Highly recommended.”  ~ Debbie McCauley, LibraryThing

“This is a compelling book, with a beautiful woven plot that at the same time will form an excellent introduction for young people to New Zealand in the closing years of WW2, and the many shades of grey you will encounter in life.” ~ Fishpond reviewer

“No sweet pony stuff here. The story is in the league of War Horse except main character is female.” ~ Goodreads reviewer

About Dreams of Warriors

The title of the book is drawn from a haiku on a plaque at the site of the Japanese Prisoner of War camp near Featherston, NZ:

“Behold the summer grass
All that remains of the
Dreams of warriors”

Dreams of Warriors is the story of Bella, her family, friends, and a horse called Gipsy (named after the famous Gipsy Moth aeroplane). Bella, the hero of the novel, not only has to contend with running the family’s small dairy farm on her own but must do so with a lame leg, the result of polio when younger. Through her relationship with the racehorse Gipsy, both grow in strength and trust, and the book culminates in an exciting race with everything to win and lose.

This is a gripping story, set in New Zealand during World War Two, with a gritty reality about how tough life was for those women left on the land to continue farming, with husbands, fathers and sons abroad fighting. It also encompasses some important events in our war-time history, such as the riot at the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Featherson, rationing, swagmen, and the impact of the arrival of the American troops in New Zealand.

Meet the Kiwi author

Susan BrockerFind out more about Tauranga author Susan Brocker on her author page.

Additional information

Dimensions20.5 × 12.8 cm

Paperback edition



Page count


Published by

Brocker Books

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