> Skip to content

Article  •  13 August 2021


Real Readers Review: Coastwatcher

Looking for your kid's next great read? Let our Puffin Ambassadors tell you why you should pick up Coastwatcher, a thrilling adventure novel for 9+ readers.

'David Hill had a great use of words, he created images that I was able to imagine in my head, which made the story even more interesting. I could feel the fear that Frank must have felt, and I felt like I was there.'

- Addison, age 10, Hamilton (read Addison's full review)


'This was a great book . . . It made you feel as though you were Frank.'

- Casey, age 12, Papamoa (read Casey's full review)


'This book is educational and fun to read no matter who you are.'

- Emma, age 13, Nelson (read Emma's full review)


'I liked this book because once you start reading it, you can’t stop and you feel like you are in the story.'

- Gwen, age 11, Little River (read Gwen's full review)


'I liked the book because it was set in war time and I learned a lot about what the people went through in Operation Pacific . . . I think kids aged 11-13 will enjoy this book'

- Joseph, age 10, Auckland (read Joseph's full review)


'This book is an amazing tale of faith and life. I think David did very well on painting a picture with his words, and I found it hard to put this book down . . . I was always left curious and excited for the next chapter.'

- Lily, age 10, Auckland (read Lily's full review)


'I really liked my book because my grandfather fought in the war in a big bombing plane so I enjoy war stories and I always like to learn more about what happened during the war.'

- Matt, age 12, Christchurch (read Matt's full review)


'I loved this book; the gritty wartime setting, the relatable characters, the proximity to New Zealand. One of the things I like about this book is how it touches on a different topic than most other war books. It is not about the trenches nor about tanks or planes, it’s a story of a small group of people helping the war effort in a less glamorous way.'

- Michael, age 12, Wellington (read Michael's full review)


'Coast watcher is a very exciting story filled with adventure, trust and war. David Hill created an amazing plot filled with exciting twists that make you see his story from a whole new perspective. Coast watcher is, overall, one of the best war stories I have ever read.'

- Poppy, age 10, Christchurch (read Poppy's full review)


'A thing I think the author did well was keeping you on the edge of your seat the whole way through.'

- Riley, age 12, Hamilton (read Riley's full review)


'I absolutely loved it because it was thrilling, and funny and gave me an insight on how Coastwatchers did their job in the war.'

- Ronan, 10, Christchurch (read Ronan's full review) 


'My favorite part of the story was learning about what it is actually like to live in the jungle, and all the creepy creatures that they had to defend themselves against. Especially the man-eating ants!'

- Skye, 9, Maungaraki (read Sky's full review)


'I liked this book because it had lots of suspense and parts that really got you hooked.'

- Te Kerehi, 10, National Park (read Te Kerehi's full review)


Coastwatcher David Hill

No training could have prepared Frank for a dangerous coastwatching mission against the Japanese in this tense, exciting war novel for middle graders

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Five things you didn’t know about Jacinda Ardern

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is famous for her empathy and leadership skills.

Taking the Lead: downloadable activity

Download our Taking the Lead word search here!

Hero of the Sea: activity

Use the key to unlock the secret message!

Q&A with David Hill and Phoebe Morris

The co-creators of Hero of the Sea interview each other about writing, illustrating and their latest collaboration.

Book clubs
Short story club – 17 May 2018

Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 17 May 2018

Kia Kaha profile - Hirini Melbourne

Hirini never thought he would become a musician. He couldn't read music, but he was good at listening and very dedicated, so he taught himself.

Kia Kaha profile - Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia

Meri worked and worked and worked. ‘I’ll never give up,’ she vowed. She could see a better future for Māori women, and knew they deserved it.

4 epic new YA reads from Penguin Books

Secrets, thrills, heartbreak, and adventure. . . we bet we've got your favourite new read covered!

The 2021 Booker Prize shortlist revealed

The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced, with four Penguin Random House novels named.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori catalogue 2021

Kōrerotia te reo this Māori Language Week 2021 with our selection of Māori Language books.

Kath Irvine's 5 favourite spring crops

The author of The Edible Backyard shares five of her favourite spring crops, why they're so fantastic and tips on how you can enjoy them too!

Real Readers Review: The Memory Thief

Former British children's laureate, Chris Riddell, has said The Memory Thief is "Intriguing, exciting, everything about this story captured my imagination." But what do our Puffin Ambassadors think? Read on to find out!

Looking for more articles?

See all articles