The Fire Keeper’s Girls proved to be Linda greatest writing challenge so far. It took her months to locate and research the 25 women from 25 countries whose brief biographies appear at the end of the book. Their lives are woven into the Game that her two teenage protagonists encounter when they are sent to a lonely beach to stay with an eccentric woman they barely know. Telling the girls’ story is Linda’s way of expressing gratitude for her life. It’s her third activist novel for teenagers in recent years.
Bad Oil and the Animals introduces a multicultural group of teenage activists aiming a spotlight at animal welfare in New Zealand and elsewhere. From the Cook Islands, China, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand, the five students bring wildly diverse talents to their risky but ultimately successful campaign.
Before that, An Unexpected Hero (2014) featured twelve year old Matt, described by David Hill as ‘a very likeable, very credible and genuinely unlikely hero who startles everyone, including himself, by what he’s able to do.’ Matt’s trials and eventual triumph parallel his growing understanding of the bravery and boldness of World War 1 pacifist Archie Baxter, father of poet James K. Baxter.
But first came Socks, a story on homelessness that won the 2012 Jack Lasenby Senior Award for children’s writing.