Conrad Cooper's Last Stand

Author(s): Leonie Agnew

Fiction - Contemporary

Set in 1978 against the Bastion Point occupation, Conrad Cooper's Last Stand is junior fiction full of humour but with a powerful core. Award-winning author Leonie Agnew has created a surprising, brave and totally engaging novel for young readers.

Dear Tane, I've never prayed to a god, so hope this is okay. If I get it wrong, don't strike me down with a thunderbolt or anything - I'm just a kid.

Conrad Cooper needs a favour. He's just found out about Tane, the god of the forest, and he's decided that Tane is the perfect guy to solve his family problems. After all, the more high-profile gods probably have huge waiting lists, right? In return, Conrad will do anything to repay Tane, no matter how much trouble it causes. But will a Maori god listen to the prayers of a 10-year-old Pakeha boy? And, worse still, does Tane even exist?

It's Auckland 1987. One afternoon, ten year old Conrad Cooper learns about Tane (god of the forest). He begins to do good deeds for Tane in hope that he will fix Conrad's family problems. After many failed attempts at gaining Tane's attention Conrad decides to help the Maori protesters up at Bastion point. When Conrad finds out that all the protestors are going to be evacuated by the police he goes up there to try and warn them before it's too late. Throughout the story Conrad makes new friends and uncovers how he really feels about his stepdad (Gaz). As more and more people tell him that Tane isn't real, Conrad has to decide for himself whether or not he really does exist. When I first started reading I thought it was a book for younger people but as I read further I realised the older you are the more you understand why this book is so funny (the reason why is because when you get older and look back on your childhood you realise a lot of the mistakes you made - that at the time just seemed irritating - were really quite funny. Leonie Agnew (the author) writes of childhood very naturally, as if she's living it out as she writes the book. Personally I would recommend this book for people around the age of 8-12. All in all I think that Conrad Cooper's Last Stand was a great read and I hope everyone else who's read it agrees. -  Carys (12)


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Finalist: New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015

Leonie Agnew may or may not be living in South America with a poodle named Juan. She informs us that her days are spent drinking sangrias and teaching Juan how to bark in Spanish, while trading sombreros on the black market via her iPad. However, our sources have located her in Auckland, New Zealand. They claim she is an award-winning children's author, a former copy writer, and currently moonlights as a primary school teacher. It is possible she has a tendency to make things up. This is called lying, unless you write it down - then it is pleasantly referred to as being an author.

General Fields

  • : 9780143571193
  • : Penguin Group New Zealand, Limited
  • : Penguin Books (NZ)
  • : 0.224
  • : April 2014
  • : 198x130mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : April 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Leonie Agnew
  • : Paperback
  • : 823.3
  • : 223