The Sparrow

In September 1840, two ships arrive on the shores of the Waitematā Harbour to establish Auckland, the new capital of New Zealand.

Among the settlers on board the Platina is young Harry, travelling alone and determined to return to family in England.

But the more immediate challenge is finding food and shelter — and hiding the truth about Harry’s real identity and what was left behind in Van Diemen’s Land.

Written by Tessa Duder

Original price was: $22.00.Current price is: $17.00. incl. GST

Out of stock

Payments: Secure credit or debit card payment via Stripe, or make an online bank transfer. Shipping: $5.20 to $15.60 per order based on largest book size. Rural delivery $6 extra. Tracked courier delivery usually 1-2 days.  Returns and exchanges: See FAQs. 


A powerful new historical novel from one of New Zealand’s best-loved YA authors.


Bob Docherty, Bob’s Book Blog ~ This historical fiction novel is the best I have read about the European settlement of New Zealand aimed at any level. It is well researched and stresses a fact that is often overlooked by historians – that without the Maori early New Zealand settlement would have been impossible. The Maori provided the settlers with food and shelter without which they would surely have starved. . . . The best book I have read this year and Tessa Duder’s first novel in 20 years. Keep writing Tessa.

Erica Stretton, Aotearoa NZ Review of Books ~ The Sparrow is a dense, committed novel that shines its light strong on the fate of girls and women treated extremely badly in a shameful era of our history. Mistakenly convicted, housed in conditions that wouldn’t meet animal welfare standards today, Harriet perseveres. Her resilience seldom falters, and she is determined to expose the injustices that bring her to Auckland, so she can begin to build her own life. But the reader is left with the feeling that history, in this novel, is the real story, and that trumps all.

About the Kiwi author

Tessa DuderTessa Duder is one of New Zealand’s favourite authors. Find out more on her author page.



Additional information

First published



Paperback edition



Page count


Published by


Find other great Kiwi kids books!