Author: Witi Ihimaera
Published: Graphia, 2003
Summary: Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary "whale rider." In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild--and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is Kahu who saves the tribe when she reveals that she has the whale rider's ancient gift of communicating with whales. (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: Having seen the movie a few years ago I thought it was high time I read the actual story. I don’t read nearly as many kiwi authors as I ought to because I do find them to be really talented and reading a book set in New Zealand is always something I love.
The narrator of the story is Kahu’s uncle so it shows his point of view for everything and I really liked that. I enjoyed his voice as I found him to be really enthralling and it just made the story that much more interesting.
I felt that time seemed to jump a little bit and I found it slightly difficult to figure out how old Kahu was but it eventually smoothed out into a steady timeline and that made it far less confusing.
I really enjoyed reading The Whale Rider; it was interesting seeing the differences between the book and the movie. There were a few differences but I think the movie did a pretty good job in representing the book.
Source: Audiobook Sync