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The elephant's tale /

A fourth prophecy, this time involving elephants, comes true for eleven-year-old Martine, an orphaned South African girl with mystical healing powers over animals, when she and her grandmother are faced with losing the Sawubona Game Reserve forever. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010
Series: St. John, Lauren, 1966- Legend of the Animal Healer.
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Martine and her grandmother discover that they might lose Sawubona, their African game reserve, to the sinister Reuben James. But a prophecy from Grace rouses Martine and her best friend, Ben, into action. To find the truth and save the reserve, Martine and Ben must stow away in an airplane, which strands them in the desert, thwart Mr. James's creepy henchman, and rescue a herd of very special elephants from the dangerous Moon Valley.

The adventure also leads the kids to answers about Martine's destiny. Jemmy, the white giraffe, and Khan, the last leopard, are alongside Martine and Ben as the Secret Valley reveals its mysteries in this satisfying conclusion to the series that began with the #1 Children's BookSense Pick, The White Giraffe .

Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-This is the final book in a series that began with The White Giraffe (Dial, 2007), but it stands on its own. Martine, 11, has been living with her grandmother on a South African game reserve since the death of her parents. She loves the animals and land, and over the last year has discovered that she has the power to heal animals. But the peace and contentment of Sawubona is shattered when Reuben James, a former business partner of Martine's late grandfather, appears with a new will granting him ownership of the entire reserve. Martine, her grandmother, and all their employees must leave in two weeks. Martine is convinced that Mr. James somehow tricked her grandfather and vows to save Sawubona. She is encouraged in her effort by Grace, the local sangoma (healer), who divines her future and tells her that elephants will be a part of her quest. Along with her friend Ben, Martine sneaks into Mr. James's plane and when it lands they find themselves in Namibia. There they discover just what Reuben James has been up to-and that they were right to mistrust him. The children manage to expose him and in the process save a group of mistreated captive elephants. This is a fast-paced mystery with an underlying conservation theme. Tween readers will be absorbed by the adventure, the animals, and the African setting.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Lauren St. John lives in London, England. A well-respected biographer and sports journalist, she grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa, where she had a pet giraffe, as well as numerous dogs, horses, and warthogs. This setting inspired The White Giraffe as well as her recent memoir, Rainbow's End.

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