Author(s): Lauren St. John
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.
Hardback sales of over 15,000 since publication Rights sold in 11 territories Debut children's author - and a fantastic new talent to add to the list Real life adventure with a hint of magic Fresh, original voice in a story with lots of atmosphere and charm Exotic South Africa with its all its flora and fauna perfectly evoked Great adventure read for 9-12 boys and girls 'St John brings Africa to vivid life in this...fragile stirring story' (Guardian) '...a really charming and thrilling story, written with grace and poise' (Times) '...a spellbinding and mesmerizing debut novel...a captivating tale of love, loss, friendship and the richly evoked history of Africa' (Publishing News) 'intense and evocative' (Daily Mail)
'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
Lauren St John was born in Rhodesia in 1966 and lived on a farm there until she was 16. She worked as a journalist for several years and has written biographies of sporting heroes and Nashville musicians - golf and country music being two of her obsessions - for Transworld, Picador and Fourth Estate. Her memoir of growing up during independence in Zimbabwe, 'Rainbow's End', is published by Hamish Hamilton. She lives in London.