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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. Film rights optioned. Translations rights sold in 17 territories and sales of the hardback over 10,000 copies. Great reviews: 'St John again evokes the beauty of Africa in this powerful tale of a girl's special relationship with animals' (Waterstone's Books Quarterly). 'Transports you instantly into the heart of Africa and the landscape so beautifully evoked in her first children's book, THE WHITE GIRAFFE ... beguiling storytelling with a timeless feel' (Bookseller). 'Vivid and lyrical' (Publishing News).
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 for Transworld, Picador and Fourth Estate. Her memoir, RAINBOW'S END, was published by Hamish Hamilton in Spring 2007. She lives in London.
Gr 4-7-Continuing the story begun in The White Giraffe (Dial, 2007), St. John throws 11-year-old Martine into another dangerous situation in which she must depend on her relationship with animals to survive. The child, recently orphaned and sent to live with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa, has had trouble adapting to her new school. She reluctantly embarks on a class trip to study nature at sea, and, before long, she and six of her classmates are tossed overboard during a storm. Rescued by dolphins, they survive shark-infested waters and are stranded on a deserted island. Five of the kids tormented Martine and her lone friend, Ben, in the first book, and they are no kinder here. But Ben, while mostly silent, has a lot of survival skills, and Martine has her powers of prophecy and healing, and the two of them prove to be self-sufficient and even content with their situation. As Ben teaches Martine how to find food, water, and shelter, he also guides her toward compassion as their desperate classmates begin to accept them. Not every plot point holds water, but this is an action-packed story with a strong environmental message and an admirable heroine. It brings the cultures of native and colonial South Africa together in the form of a young girl who is discovering that she is part of both. Talk this one up to your adventure buffs and animal lovers.-Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
A wonderful and exciting adventure * THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN * Unputdownable * THE TEACHER *