The heartwarming adventures of a young orphan girl and a magical white giraffe in exotic Africa.
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.
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. - WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY - Joe Melia, Waterstone's Bristol Galleries
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. - SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST - John Millen
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.
Lauren's website is http://laurenstjohn.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn