Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The White Giraffe” as Want to Read:
The White Giraffe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The White Giraffe

(Animal Healer #1)

by
really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  6,357 ratings  ·  643 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
...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The White Giraffe, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Katrina Alexander At the end of the book, you read about the animals in the hold of the ship and they have been abused. Violence is hinted at, but the abuse has already…moreAt the end of the book, you read about the animals in the hold of the ship and they have been abused. Violence is hinted at, but the abuse has already happened and you don't read the details.

Also, the school kids threaten to kill the goose, but Martine saves it before that can happen.(less)
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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,357 ratings  ·  643 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The White Giraffe
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
Relyn
Oct 10, 2008 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
10/10/08
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
...more
Amanda Thomas
Jun 04, 2017 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
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I picked this book up after having the privilege of patting a giraffe in a nearby safari park. I spoke to one of the many giraffes crowding the barrier in English, and it heard and apparently understood me, as it stayed as close to me as possible, walking up and down the barrier to stay nearby. It was a very hot day, and I expected to find the animal's skin warm and fuzzy. It wasn't; it was cool, and felt as smooth as human skin to the touch. Two years later I returned to the same safari park, a ...more
Isaiah
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 1.5/5

While I'm glad I finally read this (it's been on my shelf a solid 8 years at least), and I'm not surprised I didn't like it, I'd had much higher hopes for the plot.

Things that really bothered me:
- the white saviour plot line
- the number of black characters who were just stereotypes
- the sheer lack of characters of colour despite being set in South Africa
- typed accents (why?????)
- the female main character only saved the day thanks to a barely-developed male character
- the fa
...more
Nanci
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, children
This is a children's book, but it was delightful to read as an adult too. Children ages 10 and up should be able to read it on their own and children ages 6 and up will love to have it read to them. There are many great themes...being kind, repecting wildlife, love of nature, respect of elders, bravery, anti-bullying and adapting to new situations. I found it especially timely with our upcoming trip to South Africa and going on safaris. ...more
•Abby•
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when I was in sixth grade thanks to my wonderful teacher who had recommended it to me. I absolutely fell in love with this book and went on to read the second book and almost went through the third book. For some reason, I was just thinking back to all of my books I had read about three or four years ago and this one really stood out...now I am really wanting to reread this series 🤞😊
Cherie
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, childrens
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.
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
...more
Hailey Younger
Sep 01, 2015 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
Brynn
Apr 08, 2009 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
NaDell
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martine's home burns down and she is sent to live in South Africa with her grandmother on a game reserve. Her grandma appears to not be excited to see her. Martine didn't even know she had a grandmother and especially not one who lived in Africa. She starts school there and tries to find friends. Her closest friend for a little while is the man who tends the animals in the game reserve who fills her in on some of the dangers there. There's a rumor that there is a white giraffe and she begins to ...more
Debbie Battaglino
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Beginning of what is sure to be a series that will keep kids reading. Interesting characters, quick paced storyline, African adventure, and a rare and mystical animal in peril. What could be more compelling!
Becky Loader
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah. We all need a White Giraffe in our lives.
Dniemuth04

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
...more
Garrett W.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Garrett White p5-7

The White Giraffe August 18, 2012
By Lauren St.John
Fiction
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
...more
Jess Hancock
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting, emotional and endearing read.

Patterns:
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.
Spiri
...more
Rosa
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 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
...more
 Pam Browning
Mar 21, 2011 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
Jackie
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
Gabrielle
Jan 04, 2010 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
Gable Holyoak
Oct 23, 2014 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. ...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.
...more
Austin Smith
Mar 05, 2010 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 ...more
Jennifer Swan
Jan 07, 2013 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! ...more
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. ...more
linzi
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood-books
Fairly mediocre book, but I have fond memories. Still kind of had to drag my way through it though (maybe because it’s aimed at like nine year olds but, y’know, a children’s book should be enjoyable/readable when you’re older too, right?)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Future Teachers, ...: Review 3 1 2 Oct 07, 2016 11:09PM  
the giraffe 5 11 Sep 01, 2012 10:52PM  
READ THIS BOOK!!!!! 14 69 Jul 15, 2012 03:30PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Monster Farts
  • Gorilla Dawn
  • White Dolphin
  • Scarlet Ibis
  • Moon Bear
  • The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #1)
  • Wild Wings
  • The Quest Begins (Seekers, #1)
  • The Year of the Dog
  • The Star of Kazan
  • The Dragonfly Pool
  • The Midnight Guardians
  • Journey to the River Sea
  • Paint the Wind
  • The Silver Donkey
  • Extra Credit
  • Coming Home (Heartland, #1)
  • Igraine the Brave
See similar books…
285 followers
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

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)

Related Articles

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as a Dumpster fire of a year. But the nice thing about time is that it...
348 likes · 161 comments