The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

The White GiraffeOn her 11th birthday, Martine survives a terrible fire at her home but her parents do not.  She is horrified to find out that she is going to be sent to Africa to live with her grandmother, a woman she has never met and knows nothing about.  Upon her arrival  in Africa, Martine finds her grandmother to be very  cold and distant but Martine falls instantly in love with the country.  Her grandmother runs a game preserve and Martine loves to go into the preserve with her grandmother’s game warden, Tendai, a Zulu.  She loves learning about the animals and the plants.  Tendai  and his mother are much more warm and welcoming to her than her grandmother. Tendai  tells her about  her grandfather who died a few years ago possibly in a fight with poachers.   And Tendai’s  mother talks to her about when Martine’s mother  was  growing up on the preserve.  However, everyone seems to be keeping a secret about her and she can’t understand why her mother never told her about Africa and her grandparents.

Martine has some trouble fitting into her new school.  On a field trip, fellow students find a wounded goose and Martine somehow heals the goose and sets him free.  The children think that she is a witch and she doesn’t know what to think.  Also, she thinks that she has seen the fabled white giraffe though Tendai says he would have seen signs if there was actually a white giraffe in the preserve.

Is there a white giraffe?  What is the secret about Martine’s power to heal?  Are there poachers on the preserve and were they responsible for her grandfather’s death?  There is lots of action in this book and lots of African magic and fantasy.  It is recommended for children in grades 4-6 who like fantasy in a realistic but exotic setting.

Posted by: Fran W.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Billie said,

    I love your book “the white girrafe” I read it in less than five days. when is the next one coming out? Please reply
    Sincerly, Billy

  2. 2

    Julia said,

    no one replied in 2 years. This place is weird.No one is on and i want to talk to somone


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