Story: Children’s and young adult literature

Classics: The house that Jack built (3rd of 3)

Classics: The house that Jack built

Gavin Bishop's The house that Jack built (1999) is a retelling of the well-known children's rhyme with a colonial New Zealand twist. In it, Jack Bull arrives in New Zealand in 1798 and sets up a trading business, swapping English-made goods, including muskets, for food with Māori. In the early years Māori are dominant and Māori gods hold sway, but as time passes and more and more Pākehā immigrants settle in New Zealand. The Māori gods weaken and conflict between Māori and Pākehā ensues. 

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Children’s and young adult literature - Fantasy and social realism, 1970s–2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 October 2021)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 1 Aug 2016