The White Giraffe by Lauren St John
  

The White Giraffe

Written by Lauren St John
Part of the White Giraffe Series Series

9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

The White Giraffe is Lauren St John’s stunning debut novel about a young English orphan, Martine, sent to live on a South African game reserve with a grandmother she never knew existed. Rich with the scents, sounds and intoxicating magic of Africa, it follows the magical story of 11 year old Martine as she meets her soulmate, a young white giraffe named Jemmy. When Martine's parents are killed, she is sent to live in Africa with her grandmother who seems to be hiding something from her....A wonderful adventure ensues. We have a pre-pub extract of the sequel Dolphin Song, which is equally atmospheric of time and place.

This book is also available as an audio CD - click here to find out more

Synopsis

The White Giraffe by Lauren St John

When she is eleven years old, Martine is orphaned and sent to live with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa. Her grandmother seems strangely unwelcoming and Martine has a difficult time settling in at her new school, where she is conspicuously an outsider. But she has an ally in Tendai - one of the keepers on the reserve, from whom she learns the lore and survival techniques of the bush, and in Grace - who instantly senses there is something special about Martine.;There are secrets about Sawubona (the reserve) just waiting to be revealed, and rumours too about a fabled white giraffe - a trophy for hunters everywhere. One night Martine, lonely and feeling slightly rebellious too, looks out of her window and see a young albino giraffe - silver, tinged with cinnamon in the moonlight. This is the beginning of her mysterious and magical adventures - her discovery of her gift of healing and a secret valley that she travels to with the giraffe, where she'll find clues about her past and future. Above all it's is a heart-warming story, full of charm and atmosphere, and Martine's sheer delight in her giraffe friend and the fantastic landscape which is theirs to explore.

Reviews

'St John's descriptions of southern Africa provide a sumptuous backdrop... top-drawer adventure storytelling, with an added helping of fantasy thrown in. It all makes for a genuinely gripping tale that will warm even the coldest of hearts.'

's Bristol Galleries WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY 'enthralling... we may not all have a white giraffe to make life easier, but his book remainds us that even the most miserable situation can get better.'

About the Author

Lauren St John

Lauren St John was our Guest Editor in August 2013 - you can see her book choices below.

Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. Aged 11 she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm in Gadzema, which later became the subject of her memoir. After studying journalism, she relocated to England, where she was golf correspondent to The Sunday Times. She is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series The White Giraffe, Dolphin Song, The Last Leopard and The Elephant's Tale. Her latest book, One Dollar Horse, is published in March 2012.

Lauren St John has a fascinating life story and her captivating and haunting memoir about her childhood spent in rural Africa has been published. Rainbow's End captures the overwhelming beauty and extraordinary danger of life in the African bush and it's this life story that is the inspiration for many of her animal stories for children. This memoir is definitely not for children to read but we mention it here as parents of children reading Lauren's children's books may well like to read about this awe-inspiring author.

My Favourite Children’s Books by Lauren St John

For Love of a Horse by Patricia Leitch. Without doubt this is the book that inspired me most as a child. At the time I was living on a farm in Zimbabwe in Southern Africa and had a black horse called Morning Star and it seemed to me that the way I felt about him and Jinny Manders felt about the chestnut Arab mare she rescued from a circus in For Love of a Horse was identical. This series is just brilliant in every way. I’ve read each book at least five times and would happily do so again.

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotsen. To me, Eva Ibbotsen is a genius. You can pick up any of her books – The Dragonfly Pool and One Boy and His Dog are also fantastic – and be guaranteed a good read. A warm, joyous book to be enjoyed by any generation.

Five Run Away Together by Enid Blyton. I think I read my first Famous Five novel when I was six and I was hooked from that moment on. Sure there are bits of that have dated and Enid Blyton is not the world’s greatest prose stylist. But decades on, the appeal of the Famous Five is as strong as ever. Impossible to resist.

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. The ultimate wish fulfillment fantasy, later made into an award-winning film. I’ve read this book more times than I can count and it never loses it’s magic. The film is great too.

Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell. I read this book as a set book at school in Zimbabwe and it had a big impact on me. Gavin Maxwell’s beautifully written book about his life with otters on Scotland’s remote west coast has been called a ‘masterpiece’ and ‘one of the outstanding wildlife books of all time.’ Anyone who loves animals and nature would enjoy this special book. Ring of Bright Water was later made into an outstanding film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers.

The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. I fell in love with the smiley, chubby tiger in Judith Kerr’s classic picturebook during one hot Zimbabwe summer when I had to read it four or five times a day to my niece. If it had been up to her I’d have read it even more frequently. Each time I got to the end, she pleaded for us to begin again. Pure genius.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
208 pages
Interest Age: From 9

Author

Lauren St John
More books by Lauren St John

Author's Website

www.laurenstjohn.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

5th July 2007

ISBN

9781842555637

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