Author(s): Maria Gill
Based on the true story of Toroa, the 500th chick to hatch at a breeding colony on Taiaroa Head in Dunedin, this evocative story follows the bird's life cycle as it grows from chick to adult. Just before Toroa fledged, the ranger attached a transmitter to its back to track the bird's flight path. This book is a lovely narrative of Toroa's story and of the problems he might have encountered in the Pacific Ocean. Will fishing lines snag him? Can he avoid an erupting volcano? Does a plastic island pose a threat and will he make it back to Dunedin eight years later to start his own family? Toroa's Journey is a remarkable story for budding environmentalists to read together or alone. For this book, award-winning author Maria Gill travelled to the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin to witness albatross parents care for their chicks and interview the ranger about the dangers they face. She aims to raise the awareness of our endangered birds and encourage a love of nature.
Maria Gill has a teaching and journalism background, but now writes full time from a seaside village north of Auckland. Gill's book Anzac Heroes won the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults Non-fiction Award, the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and was a Storylines Notable Book. She has written 62 books for children and teachers, many of which have an environmental theme. Her book The Call of the Kokako was shortlisted for two awards and was also a Storylines Notable Book. Gill's interest in native birds and caring for the environment comes from travelling the outback of Australia with her family, and living near the sea.