The White Giraffe by Lauren St.John

Anything with animals will usually capture my attention and this book was no exception.    What I found to be the exception was how it began…..an eleven year old girl, whose life changes in an instant when her parents are killed in a fire and she believes herself to be an orphan. Her shock is magnified when she is told that she actually has a grandmother living in South Africa on a game reserve.

Martine’s life begins again on a different continent, in a different environment and anger, grief, and loneliness are her constant companions. Her grandmother’s seemingly aloof attitude has Martine searching for solace in the outdoors and learning about the almost mystical beauty that is South Africa.  As the story unfolds Martine becomes more steeped in the legends, myths and magic of African folklore and her curiosity is heightened when a local medicine woman named Grace tells her that she has  ‘the gift’.  When whisperings of the mythical white giraffe could be true,  and evidence of poachers surfaces, Martine resolves to rescue her  new ‘friend’ . It is then that we catch a glimpse of what her special ‘gift’ could be.

I loved this book….. the story of a  confused little girl, her struggles and  her journey of self discovery,  set in one of nature’s most magnificent landscapes!  Dolphin Song and The Last Leopard are books 2 and 3 in this series…check them out!

Reading Ability:  Grade 5,6,7  (high Junior; Intermediate)

Genre:  Fantasy; Adventure; Supernatural

Theme: Acceptance; Courage; Grief; Loneliness; Friendship; Grandmothers; Determination

Who would like this book? Any one interested in Wildlife conservation: Habitat; South Africa; Poaching; Supernatural; Endangered animals; Magic realism

Similar BooksIsabel of the whales by H. Velmens; Dolphin Song by St.John; Zarafa by M.  Allin

You Tube Movie Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck3Ao_hGipU

Literature Circle Guide: http://teacher.scholastic.com/clubs/lit_circle_pdfs/whitegiraffe_t.pdf

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