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Whale Rider Book Review

Whale Rider Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

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.


Meeting Destiny

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: 5


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  • 2 Comments

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    PotterDrinksWater
    Cataline
    reply 41 minutes
    Unrung
    Unrung posted in Debating:
    I’d like to commend my opponent for his formidable response. I will begin by defending the arguments I made in favor of a global flood, and will then respond to the arguments my opponent made that deny such a flood ever occurring. My friend was not persuaded by my first piece of evidence, being the separate accounts of a similar flood story from different cultures around the world. He claims that this evidence no more proves the flood to be true than any other myth. He says by my reasoning, the abundance of myths that involve multiple deities should therefore be proof of polytheism, or multiple accounts of dangerous man-killing creatures should suggest that such monsters really exist (or existed.) However, this argument is faulty. My friend is confusing general similarities with specific similarities. To say the stories of the Greek gods are similar to the stories of the Egyptian gods, would only be true in the sense that both collections of stories are polytheistic. When you get down to the finer details of the stories, there is little resemblance to be found. Now consider the condensed story of the flood from East Africa: “Tumbainot, a righteous man, had a wife named Naipande and three sons. [...] When his brother Lengerni died, Tumbainot, according to custom, married the widow Nahaba-logunja, who bore him three more sons. […] The world was heavily populated in those days, but the people were sinful and not mindful of God. […] At this, God resolved to destroy mankind, except Tumbainot found grace in His eyes. God commanded Tumbainot to build an ark of wood and enter it with his two wives, six sons and their wives, and some of animals of every sort. When they were all aboard and provisioned, God caused a great long rain which caused a flood, and all other men and beasts drowned. The ark drifted for a long time, and provisions began to run low. The rain finally stopped, and Tumbainot let loose a dove to ascertain the state of the flood. The dove returned tired, so Tumbainot knew it had found no place to rest. Several days later, he loosed a vulture, but first he attached an arrow to one of its tail feathers so that, if the bird landed, the arrow would hook on something and be lost. The vulture returned that evening without the arrow, so Tumbainot reasoned that it must have landed on carrion, and that the flood was receding. When the water ran away, the ark grounded on the steppe, and its occupants disembarked. Tumbainot saw four rainbows, one in each quarter of the sky, signifying that God's wrath was over.” This account has more in common with the story of Noah’s flood than simply a boat and some water. The figure Tumbainot was deemed a righteous man, as Noah was. The people of the day were sinful and not mindful of God, as in the days of Noah. God then resolved to destroy all of life, as in accord with the biblical account. Tumbainot and his family were spared on an ark, with animals of every kind, as Noah and his family were spared on an ark with animals of every kind. All other men and animals drown in both accounts. Tumbainot released a dove to check on the status of the flood, as Noah did. Finally, in both accounts, the rainbow is seen after the disaster, signifying the end of God’s wrath. And this is not the only story like this! It would be ludicrous to say all these stories have in common is a boat and a guy and a flood. My friend stated that the argument from mythical abundance doesn’t prove a myth. I agree; but the fact is, the myth of the flood is not only abundant, but we find accounts across the world that are immensely similar in detail. Let’s move on! AlphaT dedicated several paragraphs to refuting the point I made on the Little Grand Canyon. He made three arguments on this point. Number one, he says that the canyon carved into loose volcanic ash and sediment is not the same as the canyon carved into limestone. Secondly, he argues that the amount of energy it took to carve a relatively small canyon is massive, and the amount of energy it would have taken for the flood to carve the Grand Canyon would have had to have been even greater. Finally he claims that this energy would have raised the flood waters to unbelievable temperatures, effectively boiling Noah and the animals to death. These three arguments can be refuted quite easily, by a better piece of evidence that proves my point. In Eastern Washington State, there is a canyon that was eroded through solid basalt by Lake Missoula floods in 1-2 days. This canyon is 300 to 500 feet deep. This refutes his argument that it would take “an inconceivable amount of energy” to create all the canyons in the world in such a short time as I have proposed. Since that energy is not needed, there is no reason to believe the flood waters would have reached deadly temperatures. It also does away with the notion that it takes millions of years for canyons to form, even if it doesn’t prove that they were formed by the flood. I will return to this point with evidence that the canyon was formed by flood waters later. We move on to the point I made on radiometric dating. As my friend pointed out, this isn’t evidence for a global flood. It does however have bearing on the argument, for if the rock layers can be accurately dated to be millions of years old… well then they can’t be only 4,600 years old can they? However, this is somewhat beside the point. I will make note, that Salt Lake Crater in Oahu was determined to be 92 to 147 million years old, 140 to 680 million years old, 930 to 1,580 million years old, and 1,230 to 1,960 million years old, using several different radiometric dating methods. Point number four, the fossil record being out of order. My opponent says, “A global flood is no more likely given that the proposed fossilization map we would expect in evolutionary theory is false.” True, but this piece of evidence certainly carries weight. Supposing rock layers were laid down one after another over millions of years, (which, I take it, you believe they were,) we shouldn’t expect to find huge areas where (according to the evolutionary model of life) the deposited fossils are entirely out of order; upside down, in fact. I proposed a theory as to why we find the fossil layers in the order we do here, while my friend has not. I’m going to have to stop at transcontinental rock layers, (aww, just as we were getting to the meat of it,) as I’m out of time for now. I must apologize for stopping short of a full rebuttal here. Writing all this takes time, and I’m dealing with some other things in life right now that require my immediate attention, so I must ask for your patience as I finish the other half. I thought rather than make my opponent wait for the whole thing I’d present what I have done so he can begin working on that. I simply don’t have the time right now to finish. Hopefully the rest should be done within a few days. Again, sorry for the wait.
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    bgirlmattyb
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    jordand08
    jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
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