The Whale Rider (16pt Large Print Edition)

The Whale Rider (16pt Large Print Edition)

by Witi Ihimaera

Paperback(Large Print)

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Overview

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 has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir - there's only kahu. She should be the next in line for the title, but her great - grandfather is blinded by tradition and sees no use for a girl. Kahu will not be ignored. And in her struggle she has a unique ally: the whale rider himself, from whom she has inherited the ability to communicate with whales. Once that sacred gift is revealed, Kahu may be able to re - establish her people's ancestral connections, earn her great - grandfather's attention - and lead her tribe to a bold new future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780369304711
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 244
Sales rank: 470,992
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Three - time winner of the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award, Katherine Mansfield fellow, and playwright Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealands most accomplished writers. Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies won the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award in 1995 and he won it in 1974 and 1986 for Tangi and The Matriarch respectively. His other fiction titles include The Dream Swimmer (sequel to the award winning The Matriarch); Pounamu, Pounamu; Whanau; The New Net Goes Fishing; The Whale Rider; Dear Miss Mansfield; Kingfisher Come Home; and Nights In The Gardens of Spain. Ihimaera has also edited a major five volume collection of new Maori fiction and non - fiction, called the Te Aro Marama series. In 1993 Witi Ihimaera spent a year in France on the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. His first play, Woman Far Walking premiered at the International Festival of Arts, Wellington earlier this year. It is Witi Ihimaera's writing that also opened the door to his political career. When the then US Ambassador to New Zealand read a copy of Pounamu, Pounamu he passed it onto the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Norman Kirk. At Mr Kirk's request, Witi Ihimaera joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and served as a diplomat in Canberra, New York and Washington. His political career has been significant, he is a respected commentator on Maori, Pacific and indigenous peoples' affairs and has held such diverse roles as liaison officer for Black Power in Wellington. He has also been instrumental in ensuring the Maori art and literature is supported.

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Whale Rider 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
heathersblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I "read" the audio version of this book which is unabridged, and therefore counts! This is the most poetic and beautiful book I've encountered in ages with bits of mysticism, storytelling, tradition, and survival in the mix. There was a line in there like "Is this this real or supernatural? . . . it is both!" Perhaps amongst it all that we should be open to change in traditions lest we lose it all while looking the other way.
JudyCroome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in 1987, THE WHALE RIDER is a deceptively short book. Only 120 pages long, it¿s a richly layered story dealing with several major social issues: family relationships, gender discrimination, generational differences, racial prejudice, loss of the cultural identity of indigenous tribes, ecological conservationism and modern man¿s disconnection from his spiritual self.Kahu is a young Maori girl who, from the moment of her birth, had a deep connection with her great-grandfather Koro Apirana, a powerful Maori Chieftan. Custodian of his people¿s indigenous culture, Koro searches desperately for his successor: a boy who, for the good of all his people, will value and understand the ancient Maori traditions as much as Koro does. Kahu¿s uncle Rawiri, who narrates most of the story, and her great-grandmother Nanni Flowers, see in Kahu¿s spirit that which Koro seeks: the soul of the future Chieftan who will lead the Maoris of Whangara into the 21st century. But Kahu is a girl and, in Maori tradition, only men can perform the sacred traditions that keep the Maori people blessed of their gods and their ancestors.From the delightfully subversive feminist Nanni Flowers to good guy Rawiri who, along with a diverse group of people tried desperately to save 200 beached whales (one of the several scenes in the book which had me sobbing out loud), to the serene, compassionate and otherworldly Kahu, the story is filled with remarkable characters. These include the Old Whale, an ancient sea-creature that has survived for centuries to ensure that Kahu meets her destiny of ensuring that the sacred Maori traditions shall live on into the new century.The lyrical, almost magical, descriptions of the herd of whales¿ journeys through the depths of the great oceans contrast beautifully with Rawiri¿s simple, down-to-earth narrative. The boneless, weightless feel of the writing in the whale scenes recreate both a transcendent spiritual state and the sensation of swimming underwater. From the comical rendition of the constant bickering of Koro Apirana and his wife Nanni Flowers, to the well of emotion that has him spontaneously performing the haka to support Kahu at her school prize-giving, Rawiri¿s gentle perceptions of his extended Maori family reveal the deep bonds of love and culture holding them together. ¿Family,¿ he says to his white friend Jeff, ¿is Family.¿ Some of the Maori terms were, at times, confusing and the edition I read did not have a glossary of Maori terms, which would have been useful. This lack, however, did not detract from the lush splendour of THE WHALE RIDER, a beautiful story of hope and promise.
contessa20 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One instance in which the movie was better than the book!
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Narrated by Rawiri, a Maori man (the uncle of Kahu who is the central character in this book), the story starts with the birth of Kahu, who the first great-grandchild of the old chief Koro Apirana. Koro is from a long line of whale riders, and had hoped that Kahu would have been a boy to carry on the tradition. In his frustration, he never fails to remind Kahu as she's growing up that she was no good to him as a girl. Kahu absolutely adores Koro and feels the sting in his words, but will ultimately prove herself in his eyes.I saw a lot in this deceptively little book, especially the problems faced by racism and the falling apart of some of the members of the Maoris who try to find their way away from the tradition in which they'ev been raised. Issues about the environment and man's relationship with nature are also present. The prose is very simple, easy to read, and the author brings the book to a close in a kind of heart-tugging way.Very nice story -- I was kind of iffy about it at first but it turned out to be very sweet.
Judy_Croome More than 1 year ago
Written in 1987, THE WHALE RIDER is a deceptively short book. Only 120 pages long, it’s a richly layered story dealing with several major social issues: family relationships, gender discrimination, generational differences, racial prejudice, loss of the cultural identity of indigenous tribes, ecological conservationism and modern man’s disconnection from his spiritual self. Kahu is a young Maori girl who, from the moment of her birth, had a deep connection with her great-grandfather Koro Apirana, a powerful Maori Chieftan. Custodian of his people’s indigenous culture, Koro searches desperately for his successor: a boy who, for the good of all his people, will value and understand the ancient Maori traditions as much as Koro does. Kahu’s uncle Rawiri, who narrates most of the story, and her great-grandmother Nanni Flowers, see in Kahu’s spirit that which Koro seeks: the soul of the future Chieftan who will lead the Maoris of Whangara into the 21st century. But Kahu is a girl and, in Maori tradition, only men can perform the sacred traditions that keep the Maori people blessed of their gods and their ancestors. From the delightfully subversive feminist Nanni Flowers to good guy Rawiri who, along with a diverse group of people tried desperately to save 200 beached whales (one of the several scenes in the book which had me sobbing out loud), to the serene, compassionate and otherworldly Kahu, the story is filled with remarkable characters. These include the Old Whale, an ancient sea-creature that has survived for centuries to ensure that Kahu meets her destiny of ensuring that the sacred Maori traditions shall live on into the new century. The lyrical, almost magical, descriptions of the herd of whales’ journeys through the depths of the great oceans contrast beautifully with Rawiri’s simple, down-to-earth narrative. The boneless, weightless feel of the writing in the whale scenes recreate both a transcendent spiritual state and the sensation of swimming underwater. From the comical rendition of the constant bickering of Koro Apirana and his wife Nanni Flowers, to the well of emotion that has him spontaneously performing the haka to support Kahu at her school prize-giving, Rawiri’s gentle perceptions of his extended Maori family reveal the deep bonds of love and culture holding them together. “Family,” he says to his white friend Jeff, “is Family.” Some of the Maori terms were, at times, confusing and the edition I read did not have a glossary of Maori terms, which would have been useful. This lack, however, did not detract from the lush splendour of THE WHALE RIDER, a beautiful story of hope and promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Witi Ihimaera¿s book, The Whale Rider takes the reader on an inspirational journey while addressing such issues as sexism, racism, love, and bitterness as well as unity with nature. The Maori chief Koro Apirana in Whangara, New Zealand wants a male heir to take on the traditions of his ancestors as well as his leadership responsibilities. Unfortunately for his great-granddaughter Kahu, she is born a girl and endures much scorn from her old fashioned great-grandfather. She loves him deeply and aches for his love. As Kahu taps in to her inherited gift of speaking to whales, she may be able to save the culture and future of her people. The Whale Rider is told from the perspective of Kahu¿s uncle and includes a small, yet charming cast of characters. Ihimaera¿s talented characterizations allow the reader to feel a part of the family. The emotional conflict between Kahu and Koro captures the empathy of the reader compelling him or her to resolve the disharmony. He could have made the characters a bit more complex, but, admittedly, the simplicity is kind of refreshing. The plot takes the reader on a journey as Kahu grows up and touches the lives of her family members. She softens hearts and puts life in perspective. The vulnerability of her age mixed with glimpses of her maturity allows the reader to identify with her but also realize her heroic destiny. Ihimaera¿s imagery lets the reader feel the wonders of the ocean and New Zealand life. I wish he had further described the setting in some places, but for the most part this book was descriptive and clear. The tone is almost mystical as some parts are told from the whales¿ perspective as well. In my opinion, The Whale Rider would appeal to ages 14-adult because it is easy to read and explores simple themes, yet includes some cultural insights and symbolism that may be better appreciated by an older audience. The content is hardly offensive but does touch on some issues of sexism and racism to teach the blindness of such attitudes. Overall, I would recommend The Whale Rider to others. It¿s a quick, enjoyable read and makes the reader feel edified and empowered at its conclusion. Out of ten I would give it a 7.5 because it was well-written and inspired goodness, but was not as profound or complex as I had hoped. I have not yet seen the movie, but now I am anxious to do so. I hope you read this book and enjoy it like I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whale Rider is a moving story giving insight into the Maori culture both in the past and as it works to fit into the present. It is designed for young readers, but is of interest to anyone wishing to learn about the Maori traditions. For avid 'tween and young teen readers, do the book before the film. For the less eager reader, the movie could come first, providing the visual images which might make the reading easier. The use of Maori terminology is easily handled, with a glossary in the back. Although some boys may first balk at reading a story with a female protagonist, this story has plenty of adventure, imagination, and family drama to hold interest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book has now been added to my favorite lists. 8yrold Kahu is amazing. she has such passion and such fearless way to think of the world. this book is told through the eyes of one that loves her most and through his eyes (her uncles) you will learn that the world...isnt always such a bad place...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cry every time I read this book. Even when I'm in school. Amazing, sweet, and moving. A must read for everyone, especially for those who are for women's lib.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very sweet story (a little short but nice) best recommended to be read to children of any age.