The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of the new female mythic form, in which a main character (often femme, sometimes not) thinks and feels their way through a problem rather than leaving home to go on a journey and fight a bunch of opponents.
Child characters ignored by adults — even in the midst of clear and present danger — are stock fodder and perennial favourites in children’s stories. A Lion In The Meadow by Margaret Mahy is a standout example.
Different cultures view the sun differently. Ask a Western child to draw the sun and they will draw it yellow. Ask a Japanese child to draw the sun and they will draw it red. Our closest star is ‘actually’ white. I grew up in New Zealand and I drew it yellow. But when I lived as […]