The Last Leopard by Lauren St. John, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Last Leopard

The Last Leopard

4.5 46
by Lauren St. John

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Martine, her grandmother, and her best friend, Ben, are off to Zimbabwe to help her grandmother's friend, Sadie, run a hotel in the Matobo Hills. But when they arrive, Martine realizes that Sadie's got serious trouble. Someone wants to run Sadie off of her land and is willing to stoop to any means necessary. Not only that, but hunters and treasure seekers are


Martine, her grandmother, and her best friend, Ben, are off to Zimbabwe to help her grandmother's friend, Sadie, run a hotel in the Matobo Hills. But when they arrive, Martine realizes that Sadie's got serious trouble. Someone wants to run Sadie off of her land and is willing to stoop to any means necessary. Not only that, but hunters and treasure seekers are overrunning Sadie's property in hopes of capturing Khan - a legendary giant leopard. Can Martine and Ben help Sadie and save Khan before it's too late?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Martine plans to spend her vacation riding Jemmy the white giraffe, honing her bushcraft skills, and painting watercolors of the animals in the Sawubona game reserve's sanctuary. But her idyllic holiday is interrupted by a phone call from her grandmother's oldest friend, Sadie, who needs help at her hotel in Zimbabwe. Though her best friend Ben will join them, Martine doesn't want to go and begs Grace, the local medicine woman to let her stay with her. But Grace reminds Martine of her destiny—a leopard mysteriously drawn in the sand—and warns that danger will befall Martine whenever she and her best friend Ben are not together. This prediction nearly comes true en route to Black Eagle Lodge when a stop at Rainbow Ridge nearly costs Ben his life. This is the first of many harrowing encounters the young adventurers experience as they learn of the legend of the last leopard and find him endangered by poachers and fortune hunters. Martine and Ben must use their unique skills and talents to save Khan, the majestic king of the leopards, and themselves. A fast-paced, thrilling companion to The White Giraffe and Dolphin Song, this vividly written middle grade novel will fascinate wildlife lovers and delight series fans who are eager to discover more about the plucky heroine's mystical gift for healing animals. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7

In this third book about Martine and her amazing gift for healing animals, the 11-year-old, her grandmother, and her friend Ben leave their South African home for Zimbabwe. They are going to help her grandmother's friend, who has had an accident, but the trip turns into much more. A giant leopard said to be in hiding in the hills near the ranch where they are staying desperately needs Martine's help. Many legends surround the creature, and the place of his death is ostensibly where a long-hidden treasure will be found. Because of this, many are determined to hunt the animal down. Through Martine's eyes, readers discover many issues plaguing modern Zimbabwe, from police corruption to animal poaching and the opportunism and tourism that threaten the traditional way of life. This fast-paced adventure story, inspired by an actual leopard now in a game preserve in Zimbabwe, includes elements that will appeal to a broad audience. Although having read The White Giraffe (2007) and Dolphin Song (2008, both Dial) gives fuller insight into Martine's story, St. John does a good job of catching readers up on the past without retelling those plots. Considering that the movie version of The White Giraffe is due out this year, there is sure to be particular interest in this series.-Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Jambo! to the third of Martine's magical-realism-laced South African adventures. When a friend of her grandmother's who runs a tourist lodge in Zimbabwe calls for help because she's broken her leg, Martine, her friend Ben and her grandmother immediately trek to the remote location and find themselves in the center of a plot to trap and kill the last leopard and find an age-old, hidden treasure belonging to the indigenous Ndebele people. It's Martine's ability to communicate with animals that both endangers and rescues the leopard, as the compelling action-driven plot romps through the jungle setting. This skillful twining of exotic flora and fauna with Martine's innate affinity for animals will gratify fans of the first two (The White Giraffe, 2007; Dolphin Song, 2008) and ready them for number four. An author's note provides the background plus a conservation plea. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Meet the Author

Lauren St. John lives in London, England. A well-respected biographer and sports journalist, she grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa, where she had a pet giraffe, as well as numerous dogs, horses, and warthogs. This setting inspired The White Giraffe as well as her recent memoir, Rainbow’s End.

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The Last Leopard 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
C-Schmidt More than 1 year ago
The Last Leopard was a very thrilling and satisfying book. It is the third book in a wonderful series, the other two, I have recommended as well. The setting in this story is mostly in Zimbabwe, Africa, which I think is an exciting change for an 11 year old girl from England.A few of the intruiging characters in this book are: Martine Allen, Ben, Sadie, Gwyn Thomas, Ngwenya, Griffin,Mr. ratcliffe, and most importantly, Khan. Khan is the biggest leopard in the world, and believed to be the last. Martine has a gift over animals: She can communicate with them, in a sort of way, and she can heal them. Mr. Ratcliffe wants to kill Khan, to show off in his private zoo. There is a legend that says where you find the last leopard, you will find a great treasure, and that is why Griffin, and other poachers are hunting Khan. People like Sadie are trying to protect Khan from the hunters, but it is very hard to protect something you can hardly catch a glimpse of; Khan is an extremely elusive leopard. Combined with Martine's gift, and Khan's skills of survival, they are eventually able to save Khan, and overthrow Mr. Ratcliffe and Griffin and the poachers. The story really teaches about cooperation and cunning, instinct and ability, what is right and wrong, and friendship. It is a truly captivating tale, but also has a very strong sense for adventuure and danger, as well as peacefulness, and serenity. Imagination is key in this book, as you can really visualize the setting asif you were there, smell the smells the character does, feel what they feel, and make it feel like the scene is actually happening to you.Even if your imagination is not strong, if you allow the book to sweep you away within it, you will have the same experience.
WhiteGiraffe More than 1 year ago
The Last Leaopard is a very adventurous book. It really feels like your on a adventure where the story goes and takes place. It connects to the two other books before it Dolphin Song and The White Giraffe. It's mostly about saving the last leopard in Africa that is thought te be the king of leapards hiding the the kings treasure. The two main characters Martine and Ben try to save the leopard form poachers and treasure hunters. There will be many shocking suprises on this amazing journey! I was nine when I read this book and it is kid friendly. Anyone will love this book and series. I highly recommend it to everyone who is adventurous or is fond of fantastic books like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE these books really great series read two or three years ago and didnt know made third book until now cantwait to read it! Myfave book so far is dolphin song (amazing!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! I recommend this book to all animal lovers. First you should read the white giraffe, dolphin song and then this book. Dolphin song is definately my all time favorite out of the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very intreging book from th start. I love animals and this book really told a wonderful story about how we should keep them safe while trying new things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is part of a series and I loved them all!
Adrienne Wood More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing i stayed up till like midnight i couldnt put it down. lauren st.john is an amazing author i loved all the books in this series and im sad there is only one more book i read the second and third book in less then 3 days!!!!! lauren st.john if u r reading this please write more books like this i love you!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It gets goood inthe middle write some anxious parts
Margaret Harder More than 1 year ago
this book is even better than the first one. there is so much action and you never know whats gonna happen next. ik would recimend it to any one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lauren Saintt john is truely an amazing writer. It feels as if yiu are with Ben and Martine on their mirsculous adventured. I hope you enjoy her siries amuch as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probaby the best book next to her other book the white giraffe . The book was so exciting I couldn't put the book down for more than an hour!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should really get this book. The end is the best part. The begining is kind of lame but trust me this is a great book. I rated this book 5-5 because it is a great book but I would have rated it 10-5 if I could. Before you get this book make shure you have read the following books that come before this book: - THE WHITE GIRAFFE and - DOLPHIN SONG otherwise nothing will make sence. I do not want to tell you anything else so you can read it yourself. Ok I will tell you one more thing... YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!
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Need warrior? I can be one. Im pure black with a white star on my forehead and chest. Green eyes and female im not really ambitious but deputy sounds good to me, i also know all the herbs smed isnt bad eithero
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