The Whale Rider

The Whale Rider


In every generation since the legendary 'whale rider', a male descendant inherits the title of chief. But now there is no male heir-there's only Kahu. She should be next in line for the title, but her great-grandfather is blinded by tradition and sees no use for a girl.

But Kahu will not be ignored. And in her struggle, she has a unique ally: the ancient whale rider himself. With a fierce determination and the power of her gifts, Kahu may be able to strengthen her tribe's ancestral connections, earn her great-grandfather's attention-and lead her community to a bold new future.

Can she embrace her destiny and become the next whale rider?

About the author

Witi Ihimaera

Three-time winner of the Wattie Book of the Year award, Katherine Mansfield fellow and playwright, Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealand's most accomplished writers. Tangi won the Wattie Book of the Year award in 1974, The Matriarch in 1986, and Bulibasha: King of the Gypsies in 1995. His other titles include The Dream Swimmer, Pounamu, Pounamu, Whanau, The New Net Goes Fishing, The Whale Rider, and in 2020 he published Navigating the Stars: Maori Creation Myths. Ihimaera’s writing also opened the door to his political career, and he served as New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 1972 and 1983. Ihimaera continues to be a respected commentator on Maori, Pacific and Indigenous peoples' affairs and has been instrumental in gaining support for Maori art and literature.
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