Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Read The World - New Zealand - The Whale Rider

Book: The Whale Rider
Author: Witi Ihimaera
Pages: 160
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 63rd book of the year.

I am on FIRE!  Truth be told, I have read a few short ones in a row, and then finished up a book with my kids and a "off list" book I was reading, so it is really just timing.

This is a story about Kahu, a girl born into the Maori tribe.  She breaks the lineage of a first born boy, which upsets her great grandfather.  He now thinks that the tribe will die out unless he finds a male heir to take over when it is time.

The rejection does not bother Kahu, and she grows up a happy girl surrounded by a large family.  She is doted on especially by her great grandmother and her uncle Rawiri (who is the narrator of the story) who watch her grow into a strong, capable girl who proves her worth to her tribe.  She develops the ability to communicate with whales - and becomes like the ancient whale rider whom she was named after.

This is a mythical novella that finds a balance between tradition and the path forward, with strong female characters and a good message.  

I enjoyed this book.  I read it in the corse of one day and got swept up in the story about a little girl who just wanted the love of her great grandfather.  She pined after it, even when he wanted nothing to do with her because she was not a boy.  It is a well written little book with an engaging story about the Maori legend.  I have never actually seen the movie, but I think I will try it now.

Stars: 4

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