The White Giraffe

( 122 )

Overview

A thrilling adventure classic-inthe- making!

The night Martine Allen turns eleven years old is the night her life changes completely. Martine's parents are killed in a fire, so she must leave her home to live on an African wildlife reserve with a grandmother she never even knew she had. When Martine arrives, she hears tales of a mythical animal living there-a white giraffe. They say no one has ever seen the animal, but it does leave behind footprints. Her grandmother insists ...

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The White Giraffe

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Overview

A thrilling adventure classic-inthe- making!

The night Martine Allen turns eleven years old is the night her life changes completely. Martine's parents are killed in a fire, so she must leave her home to live on an African wildlife reserve with a grandmother she never even knew she had. When Martine arrives, she hears tales of a mythical animal living there-a white giraffe. They say no one has ever seen the animal, but it does leave behind footprints. Her grandmother insists that the white giraffe is just a legend, but then, one stormy night, Martine looks out her bedroom window straight into the eyes of the tall silvery animal. Could it be just Martine's imagination, or is the white giraffe real? And if so, why is everyone keeping its existence a secret?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

An exotic setting, a tragically orphaned protagonist, a mysterious and mystical legend, and heart-pounding action will draw listeners from the start to this audio adaptation of St. John's debut. However, it is British actress Andoh's robust performance that will keep listeners entranced throughout the recording. She moves effortlessly between English and South African accents, and tender and frenetic scenes shared between a cast of memorable characters. She also wrings every ounce of intrigue and local color from St. John's plot about 11-year-old Martine who, following the death of her parents, is shipped off to a new home on a South African game reserve run by the grandmother she's never known. On the reserve, Martine surreptitiously discovers and befriends a white giraffe, rumored to exist only in legend, and learns how her magical destiny as an animal healer is connected to the beast. Andoh's full-throttle delivery of the breathlessly paced denouement is a standout in a consistently fine recording. Ages 8-up. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
On the night of her eleventh birthday, Martine woke from a particularly vivid and disturbing dream to find smoke coming under her bedroom door—her house was on fire! Although she escaped, she lost her home, her parents, and the life she had known. Weeks later she is told by social services that she is going to live with a grandmother she didn't even know existed on a game reserve in South Africa. In spite of her grief and the less-than-warm welcome from her grandmother, Martine is enthralled with the animals in the sanctuary and reserve. Her problems, however, are far from over and they threaten her own safety as well as the animals on the reserve, especially the young white giraffe she has befriended. There is a strong element of magic running through the story, but the realism is all the more credible because the author actually spent part of her childhood in a game reservelike setting in Zimbabwe, and actually had a pet giraffe. In an author's note, St. Jean acknowledges the liberties she took with the setting and shares her hope that her story will pique young readers' interest in wildlife preservation and in Africa. This is a book with a resourceful young female heroine, a compelling story, and a heartfelt affection for southern Africa, its people, and creatures that is sure to appeal to girls. If your male readers are reluctant to read a book about a girl's adventures, Thunder Cave by Roland Smith offers a similar setting, storyline, and message, with a slightly older male protagonist.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7
Imagine the rich surroundings of South African wildlife, the mystical stories surrounding a rare white giraffe, and an orphaned girl. Such is the backdrop for this heartwarming story. When her parents are killed in a house fire, Martine, 11, is sent to live with a grandmother she didn't know she had at a wildlife sanctuary. The cold, hands-off woman offers little comfort to a displaced, grieving child, leaving Martine to fend for herself in a foreign land. When a local woman tells the child that she has "the gift," Martine doesn't know what it is or why she would have it. Then she learns of a white giraffe and poachers' intent on capturing it. The story unfolds into a legendary tale full of intrigue and what life demands of a young chosen one. African folklore adds a touch of magic to the story and will help readers understand the supernatural beliefs of an ancient culture. Enjoyable characters offer a glimpse of local culture through Tendai, a Zulu tribesman, and the local mystic, appropriately named Grace. The bush healing techniques are especially interesting. Although a few sections need more fleshing out, the story is captivating and well spun.
—Robyn GioiaCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
St. John's adventure-fantasy set in South Africa has all the elements-albino giraffe, dead parents, lonely girl with the gift of an ancient power over animals, aloof grandmother, suspicious game warden, cultural mystery, poachers-to make a hit film. When her parents are killed in a fire, 11-year-old Martine is sent from England to live with the grandmother she never knew on a game reserve outside of Cape Town. Only the animals make Martine's life bearable. Unexpected events quickly ensue as Martine rescues the mythical white giraffe from wildlife thieves by riding him to the Secret Valley where she discovers her destiny on a cave wall. Rich in South African details and imagery, unfamiliar terms rely on context and add exotic flavor. Despite the plot contrivances, the wild-animal appeal and the excitement of the chase plus Martine's gift of healing power over animals, make a lively action story ripe for the big screen. (Fiction. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142411520
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 54,081
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.79 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 122 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(97)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 123 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The White Giraffe

    This was not what I expected. I would not have chosen this book for myself, but my daughter wanted to read it for our book club. It looked ok, but I was shocked that I liked it as much as I did. I started it this morning and was done before bedtime. I didn't want to put it down. It starts right off with Martine's parents dying and her needing to move to Africa. There is a little of everything in this book, poachers, magic, friendship, and a little action. It was meant for kids and the main character is 11, but I think even adults will love it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

    Awesome

    Im only10 and i love thhis book

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    The White Giraffe

    When Martine's parents died in a house fire. Thier was no choice encept go to her grandmother's house.When she meats the white giraffe. Jemmy is the wigh giraffe's nickname. After a while a picher of Jemmy goes missing from Martin's locker at her new school. Then her whistle went missing from her locker. The next day someone changed the code on herm. N grandmother's refuge. Soon after that she found out Jemmy was missing and that hunters took Jemmy. Her gradmother helps her by taking her to see Grace. Grace found out that Jemmy was on a ship heading far from South Africa. Will Martine get their in time and will she get Jemmy back? If you want to find out then read this book!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Awesome!!!

    Great book. I would definately read it again.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Sooo good!!!!!

    This is one one of the best booksI've ever read!! If you read this one read the rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    TAP ON ME!!

    This book is a very good book even tho i did not buy i read with my class in the fifth grade it wuz a great book and i think u should buy it cuz it jas some facts bout animals and itz a great read for young people i only eleven

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Sooo gud

    I have the whole series and i jist absolutely LOVE these books

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2007

    Good Reading

    After Martine's parents died in a fire, she was forced to move to an African wildlife preserve. She felt unwelcomed in her new home but found peace with the animals. There seemed to be alot of mysteries about the preserve and her parents but it was Martine's job to find the answers if she was ever going to live happily in Africa. There were things that happened in the book that made me really sad but Martine was always full of hope that things would work out. The best part about the book was Martine trying to find out if the white giraffe was real or not and what her special gift was. I am eight years old and some of the book was a little hard for me to understand and my mom had to help me with it but I think it had more to do with the story taking place in Africa which is alittle different than the city I live in. If you can understand it I think it is a really good, well written book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2011

    best series ever!

    i have been to africa and it is just like what i remmember! i couldn't put it down. my mom would get mad at me because i wouldn't pay attention to her when i was reading. i think any age woild love it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Best Book I ever read!!!!!!!!!

    This book is the best book I've ever read! HONESTLY!!!! You should read this amazing book. Martine Finds a White Giraffe told to be legend and names him Jeramiah, (Jemmy for short). VERY GOOD BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    5 STARS!!!!!!!!
    THIS AUTHOR ROCKS!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    Great Book!!!!!!

    The White Giraffe is an entertaining book that teaches valuable lessons and enchants the reader. It is about an eleven-year-old girl named Martine Thomas, whose parents died in a house fire in England. Martine's only living relative is her grandmother Gwyn Thomas, who lives in a wildlife reserve called Sawubona in South Africa. Martine moves there and feels unwelcome until she meets the white giraffe and tries to save him from Alex du Preez, who is the evil game warden at Sawubona.

    This book is an adventure filled with mystery and suspense. Animal fans will fall in love with it. I recommend this book to people ages 10 to 13, but adults might enjoy it too. It teaches that you should always be yourself and that animals are just as important as people like us. At times not much is going on, but overall it is fantastic.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    The best book ever

    This like one of my favorite books. If you want a interesting book you should really read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Loved it

    Loved it so much

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Good book

    I love this book it was very entertaining

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Loved iy Loved it

    It was grate i really lov he book i was eating popcorn then i spit it out when they called her sis and i cried really hard and my mom was like what wrong then i told her and she cried so she keep reading with me d we really like it so
    SO YAE IlOVE It

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    I-love-this-book!

    This book is WAY below my reading level,( im 10) but it is the best book ive ever read! I just put it down 4 hours ago but i hate myself for doing that. I only read for about 15 mintues or so im only on chapter two. So if it the best book ever and i have only been reading it for 15 mintues, hmm, you might want to read it because after 4 pages it gets perrty good!!!!!!!!!! So your choies are this, aka THE BEST BOOK EVER! Or that aka THE NOT BEST BOOK EVER. Well i dont know about you but im leaning towrad THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What about you?! Ok i know its sad that her parents die, but its kinda good to have sad part then(probaly im only on the second chapter) a happy ending! Thats what makes it a good book! Rember:You have to trust. All things happen for a reson.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    I read this book to prepare for a middle grade book group I'm le

    I read this book to prepare for a middle grade book group I'm leading this summer. It was a fun read, darker than some which made it far more readable for me. The heroine, Martine, loses her parents and goes to Africa to live with her grandmother on a game reserve. Once there, Martine discovers Africa gets in her blood; she's meant to be there. And if she had any doubts, the prophecy soon takes those. Deeper themes can be discussed with older kids, animals and the exotic flavors of Africa are fabulous for the younger ones. Check this one out, a great summer read with the kids. I'd recommend it for 2nd grade and up though parents might want to read with the kids if they're young.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Inspiring story

    The book was so inspiring and tottaly loved it. I recomend it to everybody who likes animal stories and girl power books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Great book

    I luv it im living in africa for 3 months gr8 book luv it sooooooooooooooo much

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    White giraffe

    This is an amazing young read I abdolutely loved it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 123 Customer Reviews

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