The White Giraffe


Tragedy strikes, leaving Martine with no choice but to leave England to live with her grandmother in South Africa. Not only have they never met, but Martine had no idea of her; certainly not that she ran Sawubona, a large game reserve.

Yet Martine’s grandmother is unforthcoming about any of her history; it’s as though she wants Martine to know nothing about her mother, nor of the reserve. Furthermore, when Martine meets a local mystic, who suggests she is linked to a mythical white giraffe, Martine’s grandmother is quick to shut down questions and stories.

What is the story? Thereafter, what does it mean when The White Giraffe appears to Martine? He seems to seek her out. Martine is aware of the danger of sharing their encounters and then their almost intuitive bonds. It seems as though the giraffe is able to help her discover a deeper history, of herself and then Sawubona, the animals and Africa.

So what happens as the stories of the presence of the giraffe grow? Martine is aware of poachers- it’s how her grandfather lost his life. Yet who can she trust? Furthermore, how can she protect Jemmy, The White Giraffe?

What a brilliant, emotive, empathetic and stirring adventure! It feels as though we are travelling with Martine, from Hampshire to the broad possibilities of South Africa, that we can scent the animals, and feel the heat and pulse. Bookwagon loves The White Giraffe and looks forward to adding other titles to the series to the bookstore!

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The White Giraffe

Lauren St John


The White Giraffe is supposedly a myth, a legend, something rumoured, nothing more. Therefore when he appears to Martine, ‘looking straight at her‘ on a lightning torn night, she is incredulous. Thereafter, she learns more of this secretive creature, from his hiding place, to the bounty on his head. It seems they were destined to find each other.
Yet Jemmy is part of a much bigger story involving secrets kept by her grandmother. Martine had no idea of her before she was thrust into the world of Sawubona and the light and breadth of South Africa. Furthermore, nobody, least of all her grandmother will reveal anything about why Sawubona, and her mother’s life there, were hidden.
There are further secrets like efforts to keep the animals on her grandmother’s game reserve safe from poachers. Somehow Martine doesn’t trust her late grandfather’s game warden. Then again there seem to be other tensions between a mystic woman who seems to hold clues about Martine, and her grandmother. What is it all about? Is it possible that Martine might find a home at Sawubona? Thereafter, is there a hope of friends, and then a way to keep The White Giraffe safe?
This book opens a superb series. While the setting is riveting,  the passion for the subject, and the  experience and instincts of our animal loving author are authentic and satisfying. Bookwagon adores The White Giraffe. It opened the wonderful children’s writing career of Lauren St John, continuing with The Snow Angel, alongside the Laura Marlin and Kat Wolfe series.


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