Whale Rider Book Review
Whale Rider tells the tale of Kahu and her family's struggle to bring balance back to their Maori tribe. Check out Witi Ihimaera's touching novel.
Author: Witi Ihimaera
Books may not often make a huge impact on ya. They're usually things you are forced to read for class and you end up dreading every sentence. Every once and a while you might get wrapped up in a certain story, you might even suggest it to a friend. But how often does a book change your life? It would take some pretty powerful words to make something like that happen - but those are exactly the kind of words that make up Whale Rider.
Whale Rider is a magical tale of survival, stubbornness and destiny. The people of Whangera are faced with a challenge. Koro Apirana, the Maori tribe's Chief is aging and in need of a [kwlink]male heir[/kwlink] to learn the traditions of their people and take his place as Chief. But then, his first-born great-grandchild turns out to be a girl. And the search for a boy from another family begins. Koro cannot and will not accept young Kahu as his successor, but her fate has already been decided - whether Koro realizes it or not.
Hang on Tight
You are in for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with Whale Rider. As you follow Kahu and her family, you'll soon realize that they're not that different from you and your family. They struggle, fight, laugh, cry and have no idea how to make things perfect. Whale Rider is set on the East Coast of New Zealand and is so descriptive you'll be able to feel the ocean spray and hear the cry of the whales, right there in your living room. Kahu's journey will become your journey for a short time and it will be the most amazing experience - one you most certainly cannot turn down.
A Cultural Experience
Since Whale Rider is set in New Zealand and the story is about a Maori tribe, a lot of the words used are traditional Maori words, making it a little tricky to follow along. But don't let that stop you from jumping in with both feet into this amazing story - there's a nifty glossary at the back that'll help you through all the tough stuff!
The Bottom Line
This is most definitely one of the most amazing books you will read in a really long time. Not only will you walk away feeling a little more cultured and inspired after reading Whale Rider, you won't have to give up a lot of time to do it. If you've been lucky enough to catch the movie version of Whale Rider you will notice quite a few differences, but you'll still be able to enjoy this very unique tale.
Whale Rider Rating: