Maurice Gee's fiction for younger readers blends exciting stories with serious issues. Told through a range of genres, from fantasy to realism, adventure to science fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers and gangster stories, they offer a distinctive body of work that shows New Zealand to children and young adults. This book is the first of two that pays tribute to Maurice Gee's distinctive contribution to New Zealand literature. It argues that the depth and excitement of Gee's fiction for young readers makes for an impressive introduction to New Zealand culture, history and storytelling. Overview chapters explore the motivations, themes, contexts and reception of Gee's work, from the fantasy novels Under the Mountain, The World Around the Corner and the O and Salt trilogies, to the five realist and historical novels, including The Fat Man, The Champion and The Fire-Raiser. This volume will appeal to students, teachers, readers and writers of New Zealand literature, children's literature and fantasy literature. A second book, by Lawrence Jones, will discuss Gee's fiction for adult readers.