The White Giraffe Book 1 Synopsis
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.
The White Giraffe Book 1 Press Reviews
'In a spellbinding and mesmerizing debut novel, Lauren St John weaves a captivating tale of love, loss, friendship and the richly evoked history of Africa.' -- George Hanratty, The Golden Treasury PUBLISHING NEWS 'St John brings Africa to vivid life in this tale of a young girl sent to a new life; Martine's sense of cold alienation set against the hot safari landscape...the white giraffe, an albino rarity prized by game hunters - the perfect leit-motif for this fragile stirring story.' -- Dina Rabinovitch THE GUARDIAN 'a thoughful, heartwarming read for the summer. When Martine sees the mystrical creature from her bedroom window, it is the start of a beautiful adventure.' -- Nikki Gamble THE BOOKSELLER 'a beautiful story of the bond between an English orphan and a fabled white young giraffe. Set on a South African game reserve it transports youngsters to an exotic land and lets their imagination run wild.' -- Helen Crockett GROVE 'An unexpected treat, The White Giraffe is the terrific tale of Martine who after the tragic death of her parents must live on her grandmother's wildlife reserve in South Africa... A lovingly written book that immerses you in Africa's rugged charms.' FUNDAY TIMES 'Mystery, intrigue and suspense dominate the story of 11 year old orphaned Martine who is sent to live with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa. Reading this meticulously worded, cleverly crafted and flawless novel proved to be a real joy. This book has the hallmark of a children's classic and would make a delightful film.' -- Marion Griffiths ARMADILLO 'introduces a glorious creature and enjoyable characters: Martin's grandmother, her Zulu gamekeeper and a fortune-telling African wise woman. And it fulfils wishes common to many children: to love and be loved by animals, to outwit bullies, and to be daring, independent and triumphant.' -- Nicolette Jones SUNDAY TIMES 'a truly magical story with an excellent and original storyline.' -- Chloe Dennis (aged 10) FIRST NEWS '... a really charming and thrilling story, written with grace and poise.' -- Amanda Craig THE TIMES 'Fantasy merges with the real world as the gentle, mysterious giraffe seeks Martine out and carries her away on a magical adventure. An unusual and exciting story.' -- Rosalind Kerven NORTHERN ECHO 'Lauren St John knows exactly what a game reserve is like and makes us feel, hear - and almost touch and taste - the magic and mystery of Africa. The White Giraffe is her first children's book. Let's hope it won't be her last. This story is a page-turner - highly recommended.' NEWSADEMIC.COM 'the story is steeped in the magic of Africa. A very good adventure story says my own nine-year-old.' IRISH EXAMINER 'the youngster [Martine] has an amazing night-time encounter with an amazing creature that everyone else insists is just a legend - and her life will never be the same again.' -- Philip Daws, Ottakar's Bury St Edmunds SUFFOLK FREE PRESS/NEWMARKET JOURNAL 'a heartwarming story that has the feel of a classic.' -- Becky Stradwick THE BOOKSELLER 'transformed by the illustrations of David Dean. The dust jacket, endpapers and black and white chapter heading are all wonderful. Now there is a special gift.' -- Gaye Hicyilmaz TES 'a thoughtful, compelling shorter novel.' -- Marianne Adey CAROUSEL 'the story comes alive with the sounds and smells of the exotic animals, plants and people of South Africa. The mystery of Martine's background is revealed against the wonderful landscape, beautifully described, of the African bush... the story has a great, slightly old-fashioned, charm.' -- Mary McLaughlin INIS (Ireland) 'intense and evocative' -- Georgia Metcalfe DAILY MAIL 'an excellent debut... sadness, magic and wonder combine in a well-written book which grips right to the end.' -- Jenny Woolf HAM & HIGH 'An unusual and exciting story which richly evokes the animals and landscpaes of modern South Africa with a colourful, multi-racial cast.' -- Rosalind Kerven NORTHERN ECHO 'a good yarn for anybody with a vivid imagination and an appetite for the exotic, with a good deal of mystery and suspense thrown in.' -- Steve Hird THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN 'This is Lauren St John's first book and her lyrical descriptions evoke the cruelty and beauty of the land where she grew up.' -- Karen Miller JUNIOR EDUCATION 'a really good, quite emotional story... a very good book.' -- May Duncan TEEN TITLES
||1st August 2006
||Lauren St John
||Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
About Lauren St John
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 & The Elephant's Tale. David Dean studied illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University and has been working as an illustrator since 1999. He has to date created covers for nearly 40 ...
More About Lauren St John