Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary "whale rider." In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild -- and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is Kahu who saves the tribe when she reveals that she has the whale rider's ancient gift of communicating with whales.
Fans of the book can find the 2003 film starring Keisha Castle-Hughes here.
"Rawiri, Kahu's young adult uncle, narrates this novel, which is part creation myth, part girl-power adventure, and part religious meditation....With such esoteric material and many wandering plot threads, the story may prove difficult for some readers. But Ihimaera, best known for his adult books, combines breathtaking, poetic imagery, hilarious family dialogue, and scenes that beautifully juxtapose contemporary and ancient culture." -- Gillian Engberg, Booklist
|Recommended Age||10 and up|
|Publication Date||May 1, 2003|