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The Whale Rider by [Ihimaera, Witi]
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The Whale Rider Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A poetic blend of reality and myth provides a riveting tale of adventure and passion." (School Library Journal)

"The book behind the award-winning movie opens with the tale of the original whale rider, immersing the listener in the sweep of Maori culture at the heart of this remarkable story. The new young whale rider takes her rightful name, Kahu. The girl-child's story is told by her uncle Rawiri: her breaking of the male chain of descendants, her rejection by her great-grandfather, her role in saving her people, and her extraordinary ride on the old bull whale. New Zealander Jay Laga'aia effortlessly navigates the Maori names, facilitating the listener's entrance into another culture. His pacing is confident, and his inflections, though sometimes a bit comical for the women, allow for easy differentiation among characters. Laga'aia's narration acts as a guide as the story's characters move from traditional beliefs to new awareness. The audio is instrumental in proving that even with such a wonderful movie, the book is better." (AudioFile Magazine)

Book Description

The classic book that inspired the award-winning film.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2239 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: NZ ePenguin (27 Nov. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFQXZLU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in 1987, THE WHALE RIDER is a deceptively short book. Only 120 pages long, it's a richly layered story dealing with several major social issues: family relationships, gender discrimination, generational differences, racial prejudice, loss of the cultural identity of indigenous tribes, ecological conservationism and modern man's disconnection from his spiritual self.

Kahu is a young Maori girl who, from the moment of her birth, had a deep connection with her great-grandfather Koro Apirana, a powerful Maori Chieftan. Custodian of his people's indigenous culture, Koro searches desperately for his successor: a boy who, for the good of all his people, will value and understand the ancient Maori traditions as much as Koro does. Kahu's uncle Rawiri, who narrates most of the story, and her great-grandmother Nanni Flowers, see in Kahu's spirit that which Koro seeks: the soul of the future Chieftan who will lead the Maoris of Whangara into the 21st century. But Kahu is a girl and, in Maori tradition, only men can perform the sacred traditions that keep the Maori people blessed of their gods and their ancestors.

From the delightfully subversive feminist Nanni Flowers to good guy Rawiri who, along with a diverse group of people tried desperately to save 200 beached whales (one of the several scenes in the book which had me sobbing out loud), to the serene, compassionate and otherworldly Kahu, the story is filled with remarkable characters. These include the Old Whale, an ancient sea-creature that has survived for centuries to ensure that Kahu meets her destiny of ensuring that the sacred Maori traditions shall live on into the new century.
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Format: Paperback
For those of us lucky to have seen the movie adaptation we will have been seduced by its magical allure and simple charm. If this incites us into reading the novel then we are doubly fortunate for we can see at first hand where all the magic comes from. The film works so well because at its heart pulsates a captivating story which is hugely indebted to the imaginative brilliance of the author, Witi Ihimaera. The Whale Rider revolves around a seemingly simple storyline yet it is testament to the novelist"s creative powers that although it is rooted within a specific Maori context on the East coast of the North island, New Zealand, the themes that the novel raises can apply to any similiar situation around the world without losing any of their power.
Koro Apirana is the respected "rangatira" (old noble leader) of the tribe, the chief who is the standard-bearer, the glue that keeps his family and society intact, whose role is to hand down the "mana" (prestige, honour) from generation to generation so that tradition can be kept alive. He is fixed in the "old ways" wanting to instill in the younger generation a respect for history, tradition and ancestry. Koro is Ihimarea"s mouthpiece for the older generation. His sense of right and morality is crudely interrupted when his grand-daughter, Kahu, is born who in turn is the voice through which the young speaks.
On Kahu"s arrival in his family, Koro"s world is thrown upside down. Expecting a boy, so that the chieftainship can be seamlessly passed down from eldest son to eldest son the birth of a girl poses a huge problem in the mind of the chief. This is a masculine world where masculine values are praised and valued such as courage, bravery, strength and resilience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by Witi Ihimaera the iconic Maori author. The story begins with the arrival of the first ancestor from Waiiki, the original Whale Rider. But a double narrative allows for the birth of Kahu who unknowingly challenges the traditional role of males within this society. Kahu is born and " we were all looking the other way" - she loves Koro and supported by Nanny Flowers eventually proves she is the leader her koro has been waiting long years for. This is a powerful story challenging the traditional place of women not only in Maori society, for the theme reaches beyond, into the worlds where all women are seen as fitting in lower in the social hierarchy. Kahu is the Whale Rider! A great read which gives one an insight into the cultural forces operating within the Maori world. The glossary of terms makes it at times a challenge for one unfamiliar with the idea of history and myth operating within this culture. However it is a rich and fruitful read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - it is quirky, poetic, touching and unusual. It was interesting to read about the culture of a part of the world I know very little about. I also liked the themes of gender and family. I suspect that it may not be to everyone's taste (hence four stars and not five), but if you like a little bit of natural magic in your life expressed in a compelling read - this is for you.
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Format: Hardcover
Having watched the film I rushed to read this.
I was not disappointed.
It contains a riveting, magical and enlightning plot and language that is almost poetry.
The deep Moari culture is depicted with love and care.
A beautiful tale for children and adults alike!
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