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The White Giraffe [Paperback]

Lauren St John , David Dean
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
Price: £5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

2 July 2007 White Giraffe

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.

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The White Giraffe + Dolphin Song (White Giraffe) + The Last Leopard (The White Giraffe series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens; New Ed edition (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842555634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842555637
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. At 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt. country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling White Giraffe series. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her new mystery series about 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards.

Product Description


'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.' (Joe Melia, Waterstone'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.' (John Millen SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

Book Description

The heartwarming adventures of a young orphan girl and a magical white giraffe in exotic Africa.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming - Magical - A lovely story. 1 May 2008
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.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My girls favourite 21 Mar 2008
I read this story to my girls as their bedtime story. They were 8 & 6 at the time & were both gripped by the adventures of Martine & the silent, mystical Jemmy. I am not sure who enjoyed the story most, the girls or me, as some of the story telling is so beautiful. My girls wish to add in that the story is very sad to start off with but is ultimately one of their fave books. We are now awaiting delivery of Dolphin Song & already have the authors third book on order.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant animal story 1 Feb 2009
This is a totally enthralling, and beautifully written story, for children aged 8 and up. Martine's normal life is changed for ever when her parents are killed in a fire. She must go and live with the grandmother she's never met in the South African bush. Her new life is vividly and dramatically described and an extraordinary adventure begins. Lauren St John's writing is immediate, and memorable, and the story she weaves riveting. Thoroughly recommended for young readers.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To be read, from 9-10 yrs old 20 Jun 2007
Between myth, dream and beliefs of sorcery, the white giraffe wants to be a completely enthralling history. It follows the traces of a solitary girl, and finally hardly ordinary, who discovers an unknown and unexpected world. To read, it is quite simply captivating! The African atmosphere is well returned, the author passed her childhood to Zimbabwe, in edge of an animalist reserve. Its subject is thus not embroidered with the light one.

It is appreciable also to share the conflicts of Juliette, at the school, with her grandmother and in the reserve, against the poachers. It is at the same time poignant and light, well in the current spirit I find. This book announces a trilogy to follow! With pleasure.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story 22 Jan 2007
With its colorful vocabulary The White Giraffe is an excellent book for my 9 year old. It is challenging but at the same time the story is so interesting that we maintain the comprehension even with the vocabulary challenges! I am totally enthralled by it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Audio CD 22 July 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A beautiful story beautifully read. The African accents and music really transport you to the other side of the world. The suspense, the drama, the scents and scenery all capured magnificently. I cannot recommend this CD highly enough.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children's classic in the making! 26 April 2006
By Laura K
This book is so amazing! Lauren St. John is a brilliant author, she really captivates the spirits of both Martine and Jemmy (the giraffe). She paints Africa as such a tantilising place and sucks you in with a plot that every child will enjoy - lots of twists, but not too many to get confused. This book, one of a series of three, is brilliant, quite simply one of the best childrens stories I have read in a very long time. Lauren St. John - Remember that name, she has a real talent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
amazing amazing AMAZING! this is actually my favrioute book i read it from start to finish in only four days! (it was that good) this story is heart warming and when my mum and dad told me it was bed time i was begging them to let me carry on with this book.They said i could carry on so i did and each page got better and better and better! this book is definatley worth the money :) it was as if my eyes were glued to the pages because i couldn`t put it down oh it is truly the best book i have ever read.i would definatley give this book five stars it has it all for me and i loved this book so much i`m reading the next book in the series elephant tale and i`m going to try and read them all. :) amazing :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars None
This is my favourite book (and that's saying something!!). Lauren St John is such great writer and describes everthing so well, she transports you from everyday life to a world of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nicola Penny
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by daughter and mother
My daughter read this book as homework during the Easter break and she wrote a review, which she wanted me to put on Amazon. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R+ fan
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written and implausible
Not a good book. Both plot and characters stretch the reader's capacity for belief, and it just doesn't work for me as a story.
Published 4 months ago by Alex Brunel
4.0 out of 5 stars The white giraffe
It was good.
At first it seemed at bit boring, but near the end of the book it was really good and gripping. I had to read it for school and I'm gald my teacher choose it.
Published 4 months ago by Rebecca
4.0 out of 5 stars The sights and smells of the savannah come pouring from the pages
This is an enchanting story set in Africa, on a game reserve. The sights and smells of the savannah come pouring from the pages. Read more
Published 5 months ago by eppingstrider
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
Great book, really great language features used. Bril for use in ks2 literacy lessons. Kids are loving it. Thank you
Published 7 months ago by Foxhateram
5.0 out of 5 stars The white giraffe
Fantastic book. Enjoyed every page. Sad that I have finished it. Going to read it again after I finish this.
Published 7 months ago by nikki tomkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
It was one of the most best most adventurous book I have ever in my whole life read . The book had so much suspense and details .
Published 7 months ago by leah jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Lauren st john is a great author and this book is one of her best sellers.
This book is full of creative and fun carecters. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dave Latin
5.0 out of 5 stars So good
So good. I couldn't put it down! The story is so touching and so interesting to read on . AMAZING
Published 7 months ago by narn
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