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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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The White Giraffe Hardcover – May 10, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Animal Healer Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Imagine the rich surroundings of South African wildlife, the mystical stories surrounding a rare white giraffe, and an orphaned girl. Such is the backdrop for this heartwarming story. When her parents are killed in a house fire, Martine, 11, is sent to live with a grandmother she didn't know she had at a wildlife sanctuary. The cold, hands-off woman offers little comfort to a displaced, grieving child, leaving Martine to fend for herself in a foreign land. When a local woman tells the child that she has "the gift," Martine doesn't know what it is or why she would have it. Then she learns of a white giraffe and poachers' intent on capturing it. The story unfolds into a legendary tale full of intrigue and what life demands of a young chosen one. African folklore adds a touch of magic to the story and will help readers understand the supernatural beliefs of an ancient culture. Enjoyable characters offer a glimpse of local culture through Tendai, a Zulu tribesman, and the local mystic, appropriately named Grace. The bush healing techniques are especially interesting. Although a few sections need more fleshing out, the story is captivating and well spun.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Losing parents in a tragic fire and restarting life with an unwelcoming grandmother would be overwhelming for most 11-year-olds, and Martine is no exception. What's worse, Martine has never met her grandmother, who presides over a large game preserve in faraway South Africa. Even so, from the moment Martine steps off the plane, she senses that her new home holds a special destiny, one that begins to unfold when she learns about a legendary white giraffe. The beautiful creature appears one day, and Martine, who is just becoming aware of her own mystical gifts, begins a heroic journey that leads her to expose and prevent the destructive work of poachers. Though the fantasy elements will probably be the strongest draw here, St. John nods to the politically turbulent backdrop: at one point, a black employee of the preserve refers to his difficult upbringing in an apartheid-era township. Magic realism, adventure, and a well-realized setting combine in this appealing tale, which will resonate particularly with conservation-minded children. O'Malley, Anne
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803732112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803732117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,520,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have to admit, I was first attracted to this book because of it's beautiful cover. After reading the first chapter, I was completely hooked. It's a wonderful story about a girl named Martine who, after the loss of her parents, must move to a wildlife park in Africa. The story focuses on a mysterious white giraffe who is only rumored to exist in the park. Lauren St. John also adds themes of family and friendship to this novel. Beautiful and descriptive language make this a great read, both for adults and children.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter says: This is the best book she's ever read. She thought it was extremely exciting, and she loved the cliff hangers at the end of some chapters. She told us about what she read each day over dinner each night, and it sounded quite intriguing. She asked me to write a review, and to make sure it was five stars. We hope your children enjoy it as much!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martine has lost both her parents in a tragic fire and is sent to live with her grandmother on a wildlife reserve in Africa. Life is much different than it was in England and Martine feels lonely and afraid, especially since her grandmother has made it clear she isn't pleased Martine is living with her.

Late one night she sees the impossible: a white giraffe. She sneaks out to meet the animal and becomes friends with him. Encounters with injured animals show Martine that she has a special power to heal those animals, a gift. When her classmates see her gift, they suspect her of being a witch.

I thought this was a neat story, and the illustrations are beautiful. As a mother, the amount of sneaking out and danger that 11-year-old Martine encounters bothered me, but none of that scared my daughter. There's also a woman that reads bones to predict the future, so that might bother some people.

The book is recommended for ages 8-12, and I think that's pretty spot on. For a kid's book, this was a decent length, 180 pages. Some of the animals mentioned I'm not sure that age group would be able to identify, but it's a well written book. There are 3 other books in the series: Dolphin Song, The Last Leopard and The Elephant's Tale.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter (11) and I LOVED this book. It was so compelling, so well-written and well-researched, and the plot, storyline and characters were not only incredibly well-crafted, but while they seem to be drawn from every great children's story (reminiscent of Secret Garden and Whale Rider, especially) they were also refreshingly new. And it also still seems a rarity to find a book that is exciting and doesn't talk down to children nor expect too much of them emotionally (this book has tragedy, terror but the author handles both in a way that somehow did not upset or scare my child.) We also love books about Africa and loved St. John's portrayal of South Africa, its people, landscape and wildlife. I'm grateful that someone recommended this book to us for our mother-daughter book club because I'd never heard of the book or author before. Both of us are excited to read her next book and hope St. John keeps writing.

(Also, we were traveling and alternated between reading the book and listening to the audio CDs we'd found in our library -- the narrator does a fantastic job with the voices and the audio is the original British version, so my daughter (who read along with the CD) noticed a lot of interesting Americanizations in the book.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read this book many times with my daughter through the years, but she wanted to do a book report on it. I had to buy it for my Kindle because we loaned it out. This book has it all: animals!, preteen angst, dealing with bullies, magic, the lingering undercurrents of Apartheid and discovering what you're made of.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I'm an adult but I enjoyed this story and I'll probably read the whole series. I loved learning about Africa which is a place I knew so little about. I looked up every place, animal or plant to learn more as I read. The writing style was so good with enough description to paint each place and person clearly without getting boring.

There were some typos in my ebook copy, mostly at the beginning of chapters, and I hope they will fix those. They look like copy and paste errors and I'm sure a program of some sort was used that seemed to have issues at the start of a chapter. It happens about 5 or 6 times. I hope there will be an update.
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Format: Kindle Edition
this is the most amazing book iv'e ever read with all the detail there is so many rules it is unbelivable, so far i am on chapter 9 and it is great you are a great writer thanks for making the book
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Format: Hardcover
The White Giraffe is a book about a girl named Martine who must live with her grandmother in Africa following the death of her parents on her eleventh birthday. Through this experience, Martine learns courage, compassion and loyalty through her friendship with a white giraffe, Jemmy. Martine must use all her new abilities to save the white giraffe at the end of the book.

Martine learned courage during her time in Africa by going out at night in the dangerous wildlife preserve to see Jemmy. She had to overcome her fears and visit Jemmy at night to protect from being seen by poachers. At the end of the book Martine used courage to save Jemmy when Alex stole the giraffe. Alex put Jemmy on a ship to sell her for money. Martine bravely goes to the ship and saves the white giraffe.

Martine demonstrated compassion for animals for the first time while with her Grandmother, Gwyn Thomas, in Africa. While at school, her classmates were teasing a goose. She told the other children to stop and protected the goose. She then used her special powers to heal the goose, as she had dreamed about earlier in the book. Martine again uses her compassion and special powers to heal Jemmy when Jemmy is injured by the poachers.

Martine learned loyalty through Jemmy's loyalty toward her. Jemmy demonstrated loyalty by coming to her at night when she blew the dog whistle. This showed that Jemmy truly trusted Martine and believed that Martine was her friend. Martine used this newly learned loyalty by doing what was best for Jemmy and letting her be free at the end of the book.

This was a very good book because it showed the value of friendship and how friends can learn valuable lessons from each other.
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