The Whale Rider

By Witi Ihimaera,

Book cover of The Whale Rider

Book description

Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather's love and attention. But he is focused on his duties as chief of a Maori tribe in Whangara, on the East Coast of New Zealand - a tribe that claims descent from the legendary 'whale rider'. In every generation since the whale rider, a male…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Whale Rider as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love the ocean, and love stories about strong, ground-breaking young women. This tale is beautifully set in a coastal town in New Zealand. Kahu, a young girl from a lineage of Maori leaders, can communicate with whales. Her grandfather does not expect this and rejects her because of her gender. Kahu proves without a doubt that she is a competent and natural leader. I love how Kahu prevails. She is strong in herself, and she never shies away from the truth – that she is the natural leader and a whale rider like her ancestor.

From Giulietta's list on girl-power and magic.

An international bestseller with an amazing film version, this book set in the north of Aotearoa New Zealand, tells the story of eight-year Kahu, last in a chiefly line, who, in trying to win the respect of her grandfather, discovers she has inherited the ability to communicate with whales. It’s a beautiful book that really stirs the emotions and once read, stays with you forever. 

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