“A gripping tale … halfway between a spooky ghost story and a classic children’s adventure tale, with a murder mystery twist.”


“… the most engaging story I had read in a long time. The book’s unbridled enthusiasm for both the supernatural and the scientific lends itself to an infectious sense of fun … all while being darned scary too!”

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– Alex, 18

“… a thrilling book, which kept me on my toes throughout the whole story … At the end of every chapter there is some sort of action which will leave the reader tingling with suspense and action for the next chapter.”

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– Dughall, 12

New Zealand Herald: ‘Best Books for Christmas 2015’

“… when Joe begins to see ghosts, the action becomes intense and the pages turn quickly. Copsey skilfully gives readers a history and geography lesson while presenting an engaging tale.”

Magpies magazine

"The characters are well-drawn, and their realistic interactions give depth to the exciting, fast-paced narrative. The ghosts, while not of the frightening variety, add a certain frisson to the story, as well as being grounded in a fascinating and dramatic period of New Zealand history ..."

My Best Friends Are

The Ghosts of Tarawera is an action-packed adventure with a good dose of spookiness.  Much like the pressure building inside a volcano, the suspense builds until it reaches its explosive conclusion.  There is a sense of impending doom right from the start which made me want to keep reading to find out how it all ended.” Read more …

– Zac McCallum


“In this exciting ghostly adventure, Sue Copsey blends facts with fantasy to write a story about what would happen if there was another eruption in the Rotorua area. She also includes the mystery surrounding the Pink and White Terraces, which disappeared when Tarawera last erupted. It's a story about believing there are several layers to people and not stereotyping others, about listening to your instincts, and looking out for family and friends, especially when in danger.” Read more

– Maria Gill

Reviews from Goodreads and Amazon:

“I'm no kid, but I was genuinely creeped out by this. The first half has a skilfully crafted slow-build of tension with weird phenomena which were an interesting mix of seismic and psychic. In the second half the same continued but the survival-adventure aspects ramped up.”

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– Tui Allen

“I love ghost stories, adventure stories, and stories set in New Zealand.  Sue Copsey has combined all of my favourite types of story in her explosive new book.” 


– Zac McCallum, Children and Young Adult Outreach Librarian, Christchurch Libraries

– Paul Cameron, CEO, Booktrack

on Booknotes Unbound (NZ Book Council)

Booksellers NZ

“… I enjoyed this book not just because it is based in Otago, but because of the spine-chilling storylines and well-described characters. I would recommend it to any Kiwi child who loves a good ghost story. WARNING: DO NOT READ AT NIGHT!!”  Read more

SQ Magazine (Australia)

“… a wonderful adventure story, well researched and well written. First and foremost it’s fun …

Overall, this is a fabulous spooky adventure tale with its New Zealand setting offering something unique in a genre dominated by non-specific locations …” Read more

Hooked on NZ Books

“…  so great I couldn’t put it down. It was spooky, spine-chilling and weird: the three things I love most in a mystery novel …” Read more

Rachael Craw, award-winning YA author (on Goodreads)

“I so enjoyed returning to these characters - and Sue Copsey's beautiful writing - and their new adventure is a doozy. Set in picturesque Otago, the gold-rush ghost town of Moonlight captured my immediate interest. The local history is well researched and this spine-tingling tale is perfectly set crossing the spectrum of old timey tales and Hollywood dazzle. Read more …

Suzanne Main, award-winning junior fiction author (on Goodreads)

“The best kids books are the ones where the kids themselves want to turn the pages, and no adult has to compel them to do so. And The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek definitely has this page-turning quality …Books like this, that make NZ seem like a cool and interesting place to be, are what make NZ kids proud to be from NZ. We need more of this!” Read more …

Tui Allen, author (on Goodreads)

“ … The writing is lively with a youthful voice that will appeal to young readers, with plenty of humour, and the right amount of conflict in dialogue and tension in plot. As always in Copsey's books the level of creepiness is perfect - enough to stimulate delicious shivers but without going so far as to risk giving nightmares to young readers. As an ex-teacher, I feel she has nailed it …” Read more …

“… a wonderful adventure story, well researched and well written.  First and foremost it’s fun …

SQ Magazine

NZ Booklovers

The story is eerie enough to send shivers down your spine, but won’t give you nightmares. Its New Zealand twist makes it a great kiwi read.” Read more …

Children’s and Teens Book Reviews (Library site)

A great ghost story, mystery and adventure all rolled into one.” Read more …

NZ Book Council, Booknotes Unbound

“ … a gripping tale that you can read together with older children (ages 8 and up) or that I would happily recommend to young teenagers.” Read more …

Bookiemonster NZ

“I thoroughly enjoyed The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head and would have to recommend it to all young readers. It strikes the perfect balance of spooky and realistic for the intended audience, and it definitely keeps the reader’s attention … ”