“Our students just love everything you do and therefore so do the teachers :)” Zona Whyte. Lynfield College.
“Malo ‘aupito. Fakalotolahi atu he ngaue lelei oku mou fai kihe fanau ke nau ako mo ‘ilo lahi kihee mahu’inga ‘oe lea moe ulungaanga fakafonua ‘o Tonga. Fakalotolai foki ke ako mo ilo kihe kakai ‘iloa mo faifa’itaki’aanga lelei ‘i Tinga hange ko Queen Salote me ha’a Tu’i ‘o Tonga.” Sonasi Samita
“Thank you for the great work that you do for the children so they could learn about their culture and understand the importance of their language. Please continue to encourage them to learn about great Tongan role models like Queen Salote and other members of the Royal family. Love and blessings to all of you.” Sonasi Samita
“You are doing a great job writing suitable books for our struggling readers, keep up the good work.” Brenda Challis. Nelson Intermediate School.
“I just want to say how very grateful we are for the work you did ! You were wonderful! You worked damn hard and every inch of your time with our students, was superb. Meitaki maata.” Jessica Le Bas. Learning and Teaching Advisor. Cook Islands Ministry of Education.
“I highly recommend David Riley’s workshops to encourage reluctant readers. Our Wesley College students ran straight to the library after hearing his messages.”
Natalie Faitala. Head of English. Wesley College.
“We are from Marcellin College and part of the Reaching High Reading Group. In our reading group we work together to improve our reading skills. We have improved a lot and enjoy reading now. We would like to invite you to visit us at Marcellin College because we really enjoy reading your books. You inspire us to read because your books are interesting.”
Vincent, John, Fa’e and Jack. Reaching High Reading Group. Marcellin College.
“Hi David. I love your books.The reading warrior set has been very popular with our struggling boy readers.” Kathy Ameen. Wakefield School.
“Your books are a huge hit in our library with our students. Particularly your new Fanene Peter Maivia Son of Samoa book. Our Samoan Language students are loving it! We find it very hard to find resources at the right level written in Samoan and your book has been a wonderful addition to our Samoan Language Tool box, we would LOVE to have more like it!”
Lydean Herman. Taita College. Knowledge Hub Facilitator.
“Since adding your Steven Adams book to my classroom library corner, it is now tattered and shabby from being read so much! At a recent parent interview, one of the children’s parents was in tears as she told me that she can’t believe how much her son now loves reading. He is basketball obsessed and I truly believe that reading your book helped to turn him onto reading.”
Donelle O’Neill. Maungatapu School – Senior School Team Leader.
“I have made your Pasifika Heroes books part of our English Faculty’s Literacy Power-Ups. Our students are so engaged by your stories that link to their cultures and make them proud. Our English teachers are loving learning more themselves and seeing our students’ level of engagement. Looking forward to more, more, more from you 🙂
Patricia Visger. Head of English and Literacy. James Cook High School
“The books were fantastic and used with much enthusiasm by my students, especially the boys. It definitely helped them to write well constructed biographies of their choice.”
Saga Frost. Kowhai Intermediate.
“This morning a student visited me and said her grandma read the entire book to her last night, that her sisters want to read it too and that everyone at home likes the book.”
Tupou Evans. Mangere East Family Services
“Nathan, who was one of the Year 10 boys in David’s speaking session, came in last night after the 3pm bell, and said ‘Miss, I am inspired and I want a book.’ So I suggested David’s latest book about Rugby League and the World Cup.
‘Oh yes Miss that is perfect. I’ll have it back by Monday.’ David’s books are so very popular here and fill such a great level and subject gap for so many of the students. I have every book he has published and they are out on issue ALL the time. Sometimes it is pretty difficult to get them back as they are being read by all the family at home too! David and his books are such great assets for our education community here in NZ.”
Beth Clayton. Hillmorton High School
“Hello David, these lovely Year 7 Pasifika students in our library were absolutely delighted with your books that I showed them. They loved the ‘Heroes’ series. Keep up the great work.”
Jeanette Cornege-Dill. Mahurangi College
“I have a new student from Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin and Cantonese but reads and speaks very little English. He told me he plays basketball. He was here for a class visit the other day. I gave him the junior Steven Adams biography to have a look at and he was really chuffed. He will work on that with the ESOL teacher and on his own. He seems quite bright and is very determined to learn English. It has been a pleasure to purchase your books and share them with our students. The look of joy on that student’s face when he saw that the junior Steven Adams biography was within his reach was priceless. It is good to have go to books for all students.”
Shelley Knox. Tawa Intermediate School
“Our boys absolutely love your books and they are always out of the Library.”
Prue Bell-Booth. Dilworth School
“This week we kicked off a whole school reading 30 minute dash. This was introduced with your books. We have four boxes of your books for our four Village groups. Staff were buzzing at how engaged all the students were even those boys that you just would not expect to read. We are just buzzing at their response. Malo, ma faafetai tele lava.”
Falefatu Enari. Principal. Pacific Advance Senior School
“Kia ora David, I just wanted to share a couple of things with you that show the impact of your visit to us. During the holidays a parent sent me a text message to show her daughter issuing a book at the public library. The whole family had been dragged there so that she could issue a book about rocks! Today a group of year 7 and 8s came into the library to find books they might enjoy. They were looking for biographies and for books that would show people how much they knew – that would build their knowledge and they were still specifically talking about you and the stories that you told. And your books are still flying out as fast as they come in… It’s awesome – thank you!!”
Esther Casey. Sylvia Park School
“The boys here liked the Benji Marshall book so much so they nicked it!”
Katreece Lewis. Kaitao Middle School
“I had to share this. I just put the Joseph Parker book out on the new book stand and a boy made a beeline for it and was so excited because, ‘My Dad saw him fight Carlos Takam.’ So I can imagine the father/son bonding that is going to take place tonight when he brings it home – so cool.”
Fiona O’Connell. Taupaki School
“Kia orana David, our year 7 and 8 boys were outside the library waiting for their teachers, I could hear them getting restless so I I pulled out Joseph Parker’s books and immediately had their attention.Even the Principal came out into the foyer to listen and told me to keep going. I mentioned Manu Vatuvei keeping a journal and the consequence dice if they didn’t do their homework, the Highlander players reading and writing, and doing presentations that include critical thinking, inquiry, reflection, everything they are learning now. All I could hear was, “Woe!” and “I can’t believe it.” My husband picked up Joseph Parker’s book and started reading it. Amazing .. he’s not a book reader. My home is gonna own a few titles too. You’re on to a good thing David, you saw the need for our tamariki and the Pacific community. You are a gift to us! I thank you, your family and the support whanau around you. Keep it up. Meitaki maata.”
Sylvia Teariki. Kelston Intermediate
“David, just wanted to let you know how much my colleague and I appreciated your amazing presentation today. Our heads are exploding with new possibilities!!! Can’t wait to get the Joseph Parker books into our library!!
Penny Walch. Southwell School
“Thanks for writing these great books David. The reluctant boy readers love them.”
Suzanne Bailey. Waimate High School
“I had two new year 7’s this year, both reluctant male readers. I started talking to them about what they like to read – nothing, of course. I showed them your website and they were both so excited – one is Tongan and one is Samoan. They both wanted to know where the hero books were. They have also placed reserves on the Benji Marshall and Steven Adams books. I felt like a star having books for those boys!”
Shelley Knox. Tawa Intermediate
“Thank you for your awesome resources! It has truly made my therapy sessions a lot easier with a young boy who is motivated by very little… until I found the Reading Warrior workbook! Now he looks forward to my sessions because we are completing sections of the book each time.”
Occupational Therapist. Children & Youth Services. Western Australia
“Last week in the library, I had a difficult boy who could not settle into anything and was intent on disrupting everyone else – so I pulled out the Sonny Bill book and started to look at it with him – just chatting about it, how he went to a neighbouring school to ours, where he went to secondary school, any random thing really – but it completely turned the situation around and the boy became interested. I was listening to your interview with a group of boys and the same boy came in, he related all these facts and more about Sonny Bill to the group. He was so proud of his knowledge and all the other boys responded to him in such a positive way, you could see his whole body language change, it was wonderful. Not only that – now the whole class knows your name and they all want to read your books! My point is you hit the nail on the head when you spoke of giving hope, some of our children have difficult and complicated lives and your books are not only engaging these children but also providing me with a very useful tool in trying to connect with my students in the library and building on that relationship with them and I thank you for that.”
Auckland secondary school librarian
“Honestly got teary as I read through this book. What you have created is nothing short of beautiful and amazing.”
Matilda Roebeck. Australian teacher and mum
“I really enjoyed reading your new book Samoan Heroes. You have done an excellent job, very informative and interesting. After reading this book I am left with the challenge, that with diligence and hard work, I could one day be great.”
Annette McKitrick (RLIANZA) Librarian/Resource Manager. Waimea Intermediate School
“I can’ t wait for your next books. My son loves them and it’s the only time I see him read for pleasure. Our Te Awamutu boys read them in days! Thanks from a mum and teacher.”
Tracy Findlay. Deputy Principal Te Awamutu Primary
“David, I think you are a genius! I have three teenagers, two that read anything put in front of them. The third wouldn’t pick up a book until I put yours in front of him. At breakfast, the only thing we talked about was Steve Adams. This showed me that he not only enjoyed it, he comprehended it. You are solving a number of issues writing these high interest books for teenagers with reluctance to engage in literacy. Please keep writing and publishing your books. From an ecstatically happy mother.”
Marianne Black. Academy Book Company
“David Riley’s books are so popular with our year 7-10 boys who are reluctant readers. I’d recommend them to any school library.”
Jackie Phillips. Mackenzie College & Community Library
“The books look really good – great production values. They have glossy hard covers with excellent images. I’m sure they’ll rocket off our shelves.”
Karen Leahy. Kelston Boys High School
“I thought I should really write and complain that your books are so good I have trouble getting them back from families and children who borrow them! One of our families has lost the Samoan Heroes book. I was speaking to the Mum of the house and she explained it has been on a table and all the children’s friends and all the visitors that have come through the house have picked it up and loved it, (so much so that it has gone missing). The children have also really enjoyed Tongan Heroes and I have heard wonderful stories from them, after taking the book home and sharing with parents and grandparents. One little girl said her Grandmother learnt things she did not know and how wonderful it was to spend the time talking and looking through the book.”
Rosemary Paterson. St Therese School
“Your recent books are inspirational, thank you, David.”
Jude Grogan. Queen Margaret College
“I was recommended David’s books by a librarian, so I ordered a few copies and they are great inspirational books for young people – stories about sporting greats that our young people would relate to and can aspire to. Pictorial and in an easy to read format, I think they are perfect for school age kids.”
Victoria Hume. Book Category Manager. Paper Plus Palmerston North
“This is the first “real” book my son has ever read without having to be nagged to read! I am looking forward to reading it myself – but may have to wait until my partner also reads it since there are daily reviews from his son about the book.”
Melissa (an Auckland mum)
“This book is fabulous. It’s so high interest and relevant, and the layout is superb. There is such a great cross section of heroes from the arts, sport, medicine, law, business, politics etc. I can see the children being absolutely riveted, especially those of Samoan ethnicity. This book should be in every NZ school library.”
Jennifer Cunningham. East Tamaki School