Jack & Sandy

Jack & Sandy is an adventure story told across three generations – a story about friendship, family and the devastating effects of war.

New Zealand, 2001: Jack and his best mate Eddie have finished high school, but before they make any decisions about their future, they are embarking on a week-long kayaking adventure. Unbeknown to Jack’s father, this trip includes a mission to meet Jack’s long-estranged Grandfather, Sandy.

Scotland, 1931: Sandy and his best mate Billy have limited prospects in their shipbuilding town. They both become merchant seamen. When World War II breaks out, Sandy finds himself on a dangerous convoy to the besieged island of Malta. This fateful voyage has long-lasting ramifications for his family and future.

Written and illustrated with graphic novel sections by award-winning illustrator Bob Kerr

$27.99 incl. GST

3 in stock

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NZ Booklovers ~ Jack & Sandy is a remarkable feat of effort and focus for author Bob Kerr. Sitting at just over 100 beautifully presented pages, this story is both ambitious and deeply personal. It’s a lot to take in, and it took a few goes to get one’s head in the game in order to best understand the ways that the story develops.

It’s the story of Bob Kerr’s father, Robert Kerr, and it is drawn largely from Robert’s experiences in World War II. Known for his work on Terry Teo and the Gunrunners, Kerr presents page after page of beautifully drawn and crafted graphical illustrations of the key characters in the narrative. And it’s one of those stories that ultimately teaches the reader a thing or two along the way both about warfare, but more poignantly about friendship. Read the full review.

Radio New Zealand ~ Artist Bob Kerr on bringing his father’s war story to life – listen to the interview on Nine to Noon.

Kete Books ~ Bob Kerr has taken a personal story inspired by his own father Robert Kerr’s WWII experiences to craft Jack & Sandy, a part fiction/part fact adventure story which rings true and spans three generations.

Using his own water colour drawings, Kerr communicates the story in short, boldly illustrated chapters – some in graphic novel format. This is combined with Kerr Snr’s own photos, documents and newspaper clippings. The result is poignant, deeply moving and expansive touching on everything from male friendship, parental expectations, lost love, the impact of war across generations and grief and forgiveness.

It’s an incredible achievement to pack so much into 104 bountifully illustrated pages. It’s subtle, never moralistic, and because of this succeeds in being entertaining, instructive and yes, educational. Kerr says his primary audience are 10-15 year old boys who find chapter books with solid blocks of text daunting.

Additional information

Dimensions24.5 × 17 cm


First published



Paperback edition

Page count


Published by

Bateman Books


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