The Bold Ship Phenomenal launches this weekend

Award-winning Raglan author, Sarah Johnson, will be launching her latest book – The Bold Ship Phenomenal (Flat Bed Press, 2015) – on 15 August 2015 at the Word Café Raglan readers and writers festival.

The Bold Ship Phenomenal is Sarah’s first book to be published in New Zealand since she won the 2011 Joy Cowley Award for her picture book, Wooden Arms (Scholastic NZ, 2012).

“To me there were whole worlds inside those bottles. Past worlds and fantasy worlds and possible worlds. Traces of people and places that had stories to tell me.” Said Sarah on the inspirations for her book.

The story follows the adventures of Malachi, aged 11, after he finds a mysterious bottle on the seashore. What he discovers inside the bottle leads Malachi on the journey of his life. But pirates, smugglers, police and a grumpy pig soon have Malachi regretting his thirst for adventure. The story is set in New Zealand.

The Bold Ship Phenomenal is a junior fiction chapter book for children aged 8 to 12. It was short listed for the 2013 Kobo/NZ Authors E-publishing Prize, and is available from bookshops, online retailers and at

Word Café Raglan is a biennial community readers and writers festival that aims to showcase and promote local and New Zealand authors and illustrators. It is taking place from 14 to 16 August at the Raglan Town Hall, and includes free and ticketed events.


Enter the draw and win a book and boat prize pack!

To celebrate the launch of Sarah Johnson’s new book The Bold Ship Phenomenal, the Chronicle is teaming up with Sarah to give away a prize pack which includes: A copy of The Bold Ship Phenomenal, a model boat, chocolate and bookmarks.

Simply email us your name and contact details to: with ‘The Bold Ship Phenomenal’ in the subject line before 4pm on Monday 24th August 2015 to be in the draw to win! Winner announced Thursday 27th August 2015.

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