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 The White Giraffe 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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Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's quartet The White Giraffe and the Laura Marlin series.