"Winner Audience Award, 2003 Sundance Film Festival"--Cover.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Now available in simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions.
Feature film in theaters in June 2003!
"[A] luminous joining of myth and contemporary culture....[D]azzling ocean descriptions from the whales' perspective highlight the poetic writing." Kirkus Reviews
"Ihimaera...combines breathtaking, poetic imagery, hilarious family dialogue, and scenes that beautifully juxtapose contemporary and ancient culture. A haunting story that is sure to receive additional interest from this summer's film adaptation." Gillian Engberg, Booklist
"A poetic blend of reality and myth provides a riveting tale of adventure and passion....It's a tale rich in intense drama and sociological and cultural information." School Library Journal
"[A] breathtaking tale....While the passages on the ancient whales tend to drag a bit, the rest of Ihimaera's beautifully written story sparkles with life and will be hard for any reader, child or adult, to put down." Amanda MacGregor, KLIATT
"Ihimaera is at his best in depicting the bonds among the family members, but his use of symbols can be heavy-handed and passages focusing on the now-ancient whale may seem slow-moving." Publishers Weekly
"The strengths of the story are the warm and lively picture of the family and village life and the appealing little girl, Kahu, who becomes a heroine." VOYA
Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe. Kahu reveals that she has the Whale Rider's ancient gift of communicating with whales. Accelerated Reader: Reading Level 5.7, 5 Points.
As her beloved grandfather, chief of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult times and to find a male successor, young Kahu is developing a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull whale whose legendary rider was their ancestor.
About the Author
WITI IHIMAERA, a prolific writer and editor in New Zealand, is the author of numerous short-story collections, novels, anthologies, and nonfiction titles. He teaches English and creative writing at the University of Auckland.