What a wonderful story. For ages approx. 8+ but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult too!
This is the story of Martine. She's 11 years old when her parents are killed and she's sent to live in Africa with her only living relative, her grandmother. Her grandmother doesn't seem to be all that pleased to see her, but Martine soon finds the delights of living at Sawubona, a game reserve, compensate for her grandmother's strangeness. All the same, Martine wonders what makes her grandmother act so strangely... what is she hiding from Martine? Martine not only has the difficulty of being without her parents in a foreign country, but the challenge of starting at a new school too. Can she befriend the quiet boy, Ben, who sits all alone at break time and doesn't ever speak? Back in the wilderness, is there such a creature as the 'white giraffe' or is it just a mythical African story?
This is a lovely, magical story, full of the warmth, mysticism and ruggedness of rural Africa. Really well-written, and with simple yet effective black and white illustrations to help bring the pages alive. I can highly recommend it.