Changing Times is written in the genre of historical fiction. It is a recount of the history of a small New Zealand town through the town’s weekly newspaper from 1839 until the present day. The historical events are recounted by Matt McPherson, the town’s paper boy who has just been made redundant after the closure of the newspaper. The book uses a range of techniques including graphic novel format, dialogue, narrative and illustrations to convey the story.
The use of newspaper cuttings provides more depth historically as well as an insight into day-to-day life within a small town over the period. It deals with both Pakeha and Maori history with sensitivity. This is a great way to introduce New Zealand history to a young audience. The detail within the newspaper cuttings mean that it is the type of book you could read and reread, discovering something new each time. The size of the book and the fact that it is in a hardback format make it ideal for small hands to handle.
The wonderful illustrations make this a book which would appeal to a broad range of ages from middle-primary up.