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The White Giraffe (Animal Healer #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  5,096 Ratings  ·  579 Reviews
Martine’s parents are killed in a fire, and she must leave her home in England to live on a wildlife reserve in Africa with a grandmother she never even knew she had.
As soon as Martine arrives at the reserve, she hears whisperings of a mythical animal living there–a white giraffe. No one has ever seen the animal, but it leaves footprints behind. Her grandmother insists t
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2006)
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Theresa I teach middle school. One of my students brought this book to class and told me it was her favorite book. She let me borrow it one weekend as long as…moreI teach middle school. One of my students brought this book to class and told me it was her favorite book. She let me borrow it one weekend as long as I promised to bring it back soon. :) I read in one night. It was clearly a children's book, but I really liked it. It was a cross between an adventure novel (rare to have an adventure novel with female protagonist) and a mystery, with a little fantasy thrown in as well. Also, a chance to learn a lot about Africa.(less)
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Community Reviews

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This book sucks VERY badly.

I am warning you.

First point: It seems like Martine Allen, Jeremiah and Tendai are a love triangle. For those who don't know, Martine is an eleven year old girl, Jeremiah is the white giraffe, and Tendai is forty.

Second, NOBODY RIDES GIRAFFES. There's a reason why it never happened.

Thirdly, what's with the odd dialogue??

"Lucky I missed you, hey!"

"There was nothing wrong with that kudu, nothing!"

Who the hell writes like that?

Lauren St. John, that's who.

Ah, yes. That l
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Overall, this tale of a girl reluctantly sent to live with her grandmother on a game preserve in South Africa is a fun adventure with a lot of animals and a tiny bit of culture thrown in. However, I found the inclusion of magic somewhat disturbing, similar to other semi-fantasy books set in Africa. The portrayal of blacks as some sort of shaman always tends to disturb me, as it seems somewhat unlikely that this is an attitude that they would be comfortable with. Most blacks are Christian and whi ...more
Oct 10, 2008 Relyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tweens, teachers and parents of tweens
Recommended to Relyn by: Family Fun magazine
Audiobook format
I have been listening to this book for about three days now. It is wonderful. Really great. One of the many wonderful things about it is the audiobook reader. This woman is nothing but incredible. I mean it! She is the best audiobook reader I have ever heard. OK. She ties with the reader of Shadow of the Wind. I'm going to be looking for more books narrated by her.

I love having Sloane come to school with me. It is so wonderful to be in the car together. On the drives we
Amanda Thomas
Jun 04, 2017 Amanda Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had one of my student's randomly select a book from my library one day so I could model how we read and think. The lesson however took a slight turn as instead of giving them the planned for assessment, we continued reading for the rest of the hour. We couldn't put it down and when I told the kiddos we had to stop and go to lunch the glorious whining rang through my classroom, "Noooooo!" My students would rather read than eat. I call that a TEACHER WIN. I plan on using this book in the future ...more
Sarah Sullivan
Listened to this on audio while driving, and it was a definite upgrade in narrator from the last audio book I listened to. I found the story to be pretty compelling, considering that animal narratives are never my favorite genre. BUT, I have some major concerns with the way race is dealt with in this book. Here we have a white girl who moves to Africa and gets to be the long awaited savior of the animals who the mysterious, wise tribal woman assures us is going to save them all. Ugh. It's not ju ...more
Feb 24, 2017 Cherie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, series
If I had read this book first, I may not have read the 2nd. I doubt if I will read the other two books in the series.
May 20, 2009 Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

This book started out like a very uninteresting and quite depressing book just like my last book,"Rash." The first scene that I was introduced to was in Martine's dream which plays a vital role in what happened later in the book when she found out her healing powers. Her dream described her touching a goose with her hands; they were lighting up in a glow as she healed the goose to perfect health. When she awakened she was greeted by a heat wave from her house being on fire. Fortunately, she ma
Garrett W.
Sep 18, 2012 Garrett W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Garrett White p5-7

The White Giraffe August 18, 2012
By Lauren St.John
181 pages

The White Giraffe is about a girl named Martine. She lives a happy life in England with her Mom and Dad. But one night everything is changed. Martine escapes a threatening house fire that takes the life of her parents. Now Martine has a big decision to make. Does she stay in England at an orphanage or go live in South Africa with her Grandmother she has never met? Martine decides to go live with her grandmother i
Jess Hancock
Sep 23, 2015 Jess Hancock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting, emotional and endearing read.

Martine and Tendai being outsiders, orphans both having suffered a tornado us about f grief and suffering. Martine didn't fit in at school, Tendai was bullied for the colour of his skin. I felt Jemmy is included here too. Protected and secluded for the coulour of his skin.
Secrecy and lies are apparent through the book, Gwyn Thomas not revealing Martine's past, Tendai hiding the truth, Alex lying about the poachers on the game reserve.
Slawka Scarso
Yes, I do know this is a young adult/children novel but this doesn't mean an adult shouldn't appreciate it all the same. Except in this case the book was extremely disappointing. The storyline is fine, but the characters and the dialogue are so fake at times it is quite irritating.
The fake African accent of Grace, for instance, is annoying but then at least she is a nice and well developed character. The teacher and headmaster are just a concentrate of clichés, same goes for Alex, the game keep
Hailey Younger
Sep 01, 2015 Hailey Younger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For summer reading I read The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John. After a tragedy at her home in England which caused Martine is forced to move with her grandmother Gwyn Thomas who lives on a South African game reserve and whom she's never met before. Martine discovers a whole different living situation and almost a completely different world. When Martine arrives in Africa Tendi who is a worker in the dame reserve with Gwyn brings her to meet his aunt. While Martine and Tendi's aunt are talking T ...more
Deborah Piasecki
I liked this book because there are several characters that young readers can connect to - Martine, who lost her parents in a fire and has to live with her Grandmother in another country, Ben, who is quiet, but has many strengths, Jemmy, the White Giraffe who befriends Martine and is the catalyst to her healing over the loss of her parents, the Five Star Gang of Caracal School (the kids that everyone wanted to be-rich, popular and ultra cool) Other adult characters important to the story are Gwy ...more
Benenden School Library
Jan 19, 2017 Benenden School Library rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-7
I found this book exhilarating as I felt I was riding on the back of the white giraffe on Martine's game reserve in Africa! If you haven't read this book you really should!

You will adventure with a young girl whose parents died in a house fire while she managed to live. She was thrust over to Africa to live on a game reserve with her grumpy grandma who doesn't seem to want anything to do with her. Martine's head was bursting with questions. Why didn't mum mention you? How long have you lived out
 Pam Browning
Mar 21, 2011 Pam Browning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-books-read
I just finished The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John and it was wonderful. A student recommended it to me and she was right this book was a fun and fast read. Martine, and middle school aged girl loses her parents in a fire right at the beginning of the book and has to move to South Africa (Cape Town) to live with a grandmother she didn't know she had and one who seems not too excited to have her there. The book centers around several mysteries about Martine's past and the possibly mythical whit ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Nobies57 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Martine is orphaned when her house in England burns down. With no other relatives she is sent to live in South Africa with a grandmother she never even knew existed.
Her grandmother acts non-to-happy to be the caretaker of Martine who is refused answers to the many questions she has about her parents, her grandmother and even the game reserve where she now lives. Rumor has it that there is a white giraffe living there, but most believe that is a myth. The reserve is presently
Destiny becomes reality as Martine's young life is shattered by the untimely death of her parents. Living a serene, idyllic life in England is commonplace for this 11-year-old only child. When a tragic fire tears her world apart, she is sent to live with her grandmother in South Africa. There she finds that these series of events have been foretold. She has 'the gift' and although her grandmother chooses to ignore the signs, its prophecy becomes clearly evident shortly upon her arrival. Martine ...more
Apr 08, 2009 Brynn rated it did not like it
The protagonist in this story is an 11-year-old girl from England who moves to South Africa to live with her grandmother on a game preserve after her parents pass away. I thought what would follow would be a good story for 5th and 6th graders who like animals with a bit of information on a different part of the world. The story, however, is very weak. The language is far too complex for the target age group, the story is boring and often too descriptive, the main character isn't sympathetic and ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Gabrielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The White Giraffe" engages me to the point where I began to feel as if I am one of the characters or in the journey/adventure of one of them. The events that take place towards the beginning of this book lead to a young girl (Martine Allen) being sad, lost, and confused, but in return she is placed in a "magical," and amazing adventure. Martine is sent to live with her grandmother on an African wildlife reserve where she is determined to find- The White Giraffe. This giraffe is said to be legen ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was pouring rain in the middle of the night when young Marentine discovered her destiny. She thought the White Giraffe was a myth but Marentine knew she came face to face with this shiny silver creature. The White Giraffe is a loving story about a child, her journey to Africa, and her fait. Lauren St. John did a great job of keeping the reader on their toes an making an old tale come to life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction or fantasy for this book has ...more
Kate Hastings
Grades 4-7. When Martine's parents die in a house fire, she is sent to live with her estranged grandmother in Africa. She meets a soothe-sayer who says she has a gift and that her decision to use it comes with great power and responsibility. Martine's grandma lives on a wildlife preserve. Poachers murdered her grandfather and continue to steal animals. Martine discovers an elusive white giraffe from local legends. Poachers are hot on its trail.

Magical realism.
Gable Holyoak
Oct 23, 2014 Gable Holyoak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book absolutely captivated me. The story of young Martine, who lost both her parents to a fire, a girl who had strange dreams, a girl who was forced to live in South Africa with a relative she didn't even know. But she would learn that she was not like ordinary girls. She was powerful. And it took the eyes of a White Giraffe to see that. I loved this book because of the adventure, and the magic inside.
Jennifer Swan
Jan 07, 2013 Jennifer Swan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by this book, and really liked it! The first page makes you want to read on, and the first chapter draws you in completely. I was attracted to the descriptions of life in Africa, I liked that there was just a bit of fantasy in the book and it wasn't overstated, but was just real enough to almost believe in the magic. I highly recommend it!
Austin Smith
Mar 05, 2010 Austin Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
martine's parents are killed in a fire, and she must leave her home in England to live on a wildlife reserve in Africa with a grandmother she never knewshe had. As soon as Martine arrives at the reserve, she hears whisperings of a mythical animal living there-a white giraffe. No one has ever seen te animal, but i leaves footprints behind
Mar 05, 2014 Anu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aloitettiin vanhan vinkkaussuosikkini uudelleenluku kolmasluokkalaisen iltakirjana. Kirjaa ehdittiin lukea ääneen vain kaksi iltaa ja 70 sivua ennen kuin kuuntelijan hermo petti ja kirja lukaistiin loppuun koulubussissa ja välitunneilla. 9-vuotias julisti kirjan uudeksi lempikirjakseen!
Cam Thibault
Overall the white giraffe is a decent book and a simple read. I liked how there was suspense and action in some places. I didn't like how the whole book was based on one character. I did not like the book as a whole because it was too easy and somewhat boring.
Lenney Baldonado
May 04, 2012 Lenney Baldonado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
it was a great book !!
Apr 24, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this because my 11 year old daughter read it and loved it. She wanted me to share the experience with her; how could I resist that? I read it, it was cute, now we can talk about it :)
Mar 21, 2009 Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book looks good!!
Brenda Kahn
I've been meaning to read this forever as it has been a fifth grade favorite over the years. Finally got to it because the fifth grade book club chose it and I'm so glad I did. It's lovely.
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Lauren St John grew up on a farm and game reserve in Africa, the inspiration for her acclaimed memoir, Rainbow's End, and her award-winning White Giraffe series for children. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin mystery series, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2011. Her bestselling One Dollar Horse trilogy for teenagers was followed by The Glory, a breathtaking YA adventure a ...more
More about Lauren St. John...

Other Books in the Series

Animal Healer (5 books)
  • Dolphin Song (Animal Healer, #2)
  • The Last Leopard (Animal Healer, #3)
  • The Elephant's Tale (Animal Healer, #4)
  • Operation Rhino (Animal Healer, #5)

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