When she is 11 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, and her discovery of her gift of healing and a secret valley that she travels to with the giraffe. There, she'll find clues about her past and future.
Above all, this is a heart-warming story, full of charm and atmosphere, and Martine's sheer delight in her giraffe friend and the fantastic landscape that is theirs to explore.
©2006 Lauren St. John (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd