Author(s): Lauren St.John
Martine is looking forward to the holidays and riding Jemmy, her white giraffe, until an accident sends her and Ben on a journey to the Matobo Hills wilderness in Zimbabwe. It is a lawless land, where nothing is as it seems. When they uncover a plot in which the fate of a magnificent leopard and the lost treasure of an African King are mysteriously linked, their friendship faces its greatest test. Far from home and the help of Grace and Tendai, and with Gwyn Thomas languishing, under false accusations, in jail, Martine and Ben must use every survival skill they possess. They'll come face to face with Griffin, Mercy, Mr Ratcliffe (known as Rat), Magnus the hornbill, and a witch doctor, not to mention Khan, the last leopard. They must decide who their friends are, and who are enemies, as they race against time to save the world's rarest leopard and each other. This third African adventure is written with all the zest and skill that have endeared so many readers to THE WHITE GIRAFFE and DOLPHIN SONG.
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. Rights sold in 17 territories & sales of the previous 2 titles over 56,000 copies. Great reviews: 'These books are also wonderfully refreshing in their celebration of Africa - its people, culture and resources ... Equally delightful is a capable, adventurous, identifiable and compelling female lead character. There is much to be celebrated here.' (Bookseller); 'St John brings Africa to vivid life in this tale of a young girl sent to a new life ... the white giraffe, an albino rarity prized by game hunters - the perfect leit-motif for this fragile stirring story' (Guardian). 'a thoughful, heartwarming read for the summer' (Bookseller). '...a really charming and thrilling story, written with grace and poise' (Times).
Shortlisted for Independent Booksellers' Book of the Year Award: Children's Book of the Year 2010.
this is a vivid adventure, mostly because St John, who grew up in Zimbabwe, has captured its blend of menace and allure THE OBSERVER ...spellbinding... another magical, compelling adventure THE ROAR
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.