Book cover of Dawn Raid

Dawn Raid



Publisher & Publication Year

Levine Querido, 2021

Publisher's Book Page


Pauline Vaeluaga Smith (Samoan/Tuvaluan/Scottish/Irish)

Author's Website 


Mat Hunkin (Samoan)



Sofia is like most twelve-year-old girls in New Zealand. How is she going to earn enough money for those boots? Who is she going to be friends with at school this year? It comes as a surprise to both Sofia and her family when her big brother, Lenny, starts talking about protests, “overstayers”, and injustices against Pacific Islanders by the government. Inspired by the Black Panthers in America, a group has formed called the Polynesian Panthers, who encourage immigrant and Indigenous families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights. Soon the whole family becomes involved in the movement, and Sofia learns how to stand up and fight.

Notable Achievements

Best New Author at the New Zealand Book Awards; NZ Storylines Notable Book Award


Publishers Weekly: "Smith realistically traces Sofia's growing political awareness and her development from reluctant to stirring public speaker in a straightforward voice that rings true."

Kirkus Reviews: "Well crafted and wonderfully fresh."

School Library Journal: "Smith's timely novel encourages empathy and understanding while spotlighting underrepresented history, and providing an example of how young people can take action. Highly recommended."

Educator Guide

This guide, created by educational writer Maria Gill, includes a list of themes, learning and discussion points, and extension activities.

Link to Guide

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