Waitākere College

Book Of The Week - Mission Girl, by Fleur Beale

For Week 8

Paihia , C 1840.

When her tribe is defeated in battle, Atapo is captured and becomes a slave of her enemies. Freedom seems impossible; the penalty for runaway slaves is death. But when sickness strikes the village, Atapo is blamed-and now it is even more dangerous to stay. To save her life, she escapes to the Pakeha mission station at Paihia. There, Atapo is taught to read and write, and learns of the threat to Maori by some unscrupulous settlers greedy for land.                                        

Against the backdrop of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Atapo discovers how her education can save her tribal lands and help her reclaim her destiny as the guiding star of her people.