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TanjaMaFi

vor 11 Monaten

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A young girl, her grandfather and a great legacy!

Are you up for a fantastic journey to New Zealand and into mythical folklore? Witi Ihimaera's children's classic The Whale Rider takes you back in time and connects Maori traditions and legends with a contemporary story.

Young Kahu is about to inherit the title of chief of her tribe. It's an important and powerful position. But there is one problem: Kahu is a girl and her great-grandfather does not deem her worthy of the title ... yet.

Join our Let's Read in English book club and discuss great novels each month.  Usually, there won't be any free books but you are welcome to discuss every book at your own convenience. If you participate actively (around 5 substantial posts), you can also earn a lottery ticket for the raffle at the end of the year!

More about the book
Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather's love and attention. But he's focused on his duties as chief of the Maori in Whangara, New Zealand - a tribe that claims descent from the legendary "whale rider". In every generation since the whale rider, a male has inherited 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. Kahu will not be ignored. And in her struggle she has a unique ally: the whale rider himself, from whom she has inherited the ability to communicate with whales.

More about the author
Witi Ihimaera was born close to Gisborne, New Zealand in 1944. Among other things, he worked as a diplomat in Canberra, New York and Washington, and was a professor at the University of Auckland. Ihimaera is considered one of the most important and influential living author of Māori descent. His novel "Whale Rider" has been made into a major film starring Keisha Castle-Hughes who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Pei/Kahu.

To kick off the Let's Read in English book club, we're giving away three copies of The Whale Rider! Please note that you are asked to actively participate in the book club if you win a copy!

For your chance to win a book, use the blue "Jetzt bewerben" Button and tell us why you'd like to participate in this month's book club.

Now, I'm looking forward to a great book club February with you!

You are welcome to discuss the book in English. If you feel more comfortable doing it in German - no problem! Please feel free to use whatever language you are most comfortable with.

You love to read in English? Perfect! You can now join the Let's Read in English Challenge 2017 to read and discuss books with other readers. Anything English will also be announced there.

Autor: Witi Ihimaera
Buch: The Whale Rider

Sakuko

vor 11 Monaten

Alle Bewerbungen

I'd love to join this book discussion. I enjoy reading about different cultures, and especially about mythologies and legends pertaining to them. Even more so when mixed up with into a fantasy setting (I do love my fantasy ;) ).
I also very much like stories with independent or unique female protagonists, which this one seems to be.

Kady

vor 11 Monaten

Alle Bewerbungen

Hey guys! So there is a book to win this month, cool! That would be a fantastic kick-off for this year's LIREC Book Club. And since this book is on my wish list anyway, this is the opportunity for me ;-). I'd like to read about Kahu and the Maori, because they sound like an interesting tribe. Also, I like that the story's about whales. I'd like to know what exactly Kahu can understand, how whales think, how Kahu's gift works and so on and so on. The story just fascinates me...

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BloodyBigMess

vor 10 Monaten

4th Section (Winter and Epilogue)
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darklittledancer schreibt:
What Kahu's actions illustrate, regardless of her gender, is that children are often capable of doing things we wouldn't believe them to be able to do. They also still have a stronger connection to nature than most adults.

Oh that's true! Not just nature, but some cultures believe children have a stronger connection to the supernatural, too, before they grow up and become "blind" to it.

BloodyBigMess

vor 10 Monaten

Maori Culture and Cultural Identity

I think it's quite interesting how their culture seems to be quite rooted in nature and the supernatural. But like all other cultures and religions they face the threat of assimilation, which is why they've "forgotten" the supernatural aspects of their culture or see it as no more than myth nowadays. I also thought it was quite realistic how Koro Apirana and other elders try to work against that assimilation and educate the youth on their history, tradition and language, so the Maori culture doesn't become obsolete one day.

BloodyBigMess

vor 10 Monaten

Tradition and Modernity

I think we live in a day and age where progress has become unbelievably fast and because we are all so interconnected, we do not only have a global lingua franca (English) but we are also starting to develop a broader, homogenous global culture.
But due to that I also feel like people have become more protective and more invested in their native culture and identities, for example how black women have started to embrace natural hair more after years and decades of assimilating and perming their hair.

I agree, that we need to find a balance between the two - of keeping our old cultures, while advancing with the times - but we're all still in a stage of figuring that out. So I'd say the dichotomy described in the book is still prevalent for all of us.

BloodyBigMess

vor 10 Monaten

The Role of Women

No, I thought the relationship of Koro Apirana and Nanny Flowers was quite realistic as well.

My grandparents have been married for more than 50 years and they do that all the time. They have huge fights and anre unbelievably hurtful to each other on a regular basis, but then they kind of make up and carry on. Only recently my grandmother went to her sister's for the weekend after my grandfather was rude to her and he was like "goooo, see if I CARE" and only a few hours later he called my mom and was like "I called your mom to ask if I should pick her up and she said she's going to stay the weekend and maybe not come back at all, this woman is killing me."

I agree that it seems quite abusive and not like a healthy relationship, but I think the older generation just takes the "till death do us apart" very seriously.

I personally thought the newer generation was too unresponsive in this novel though. Like I expected way more backlash towards Koro, but the only person who ever seemed to say something was Nanny Flowers.

StefanieFreigericht

vor 10 Monaten

4th Section (Winter and Epilogue)

BloodyBigMess schreibt:
I thought it was quite beautiful how the different people from different tribes, ethnicities, female or male, young and old came together to try and save the whales. I think it was meant to symbolize how in times of need all the superficialities don't matter and instead we just have to work together.

Good thought - obvious when I read it - but I had not come to that conclusion myself.

TanjaMaFi

vor 10 Monaten

Tradition and Modernity

I think you're right. Many of us try to uphold traditions and sort of blend them with new views and understandings of the world. But, I also believe that this change is especially difficult for indigenous populations who are struggeling to find their way in an ever changing world. Especially Koro Apirana who finds that his world views are challenged not only by the world around him but also by his own family does not seem to be able to achieve this blending. Here it is up to a younger generation to find the connections between the traditional and the modern world.

If you are interested, there is also an other book by Witi Ihimaera which addresses this struggle. "Bulibasha" has also recently been made into a film ("Mahana") that I find extremely impressive.

darklittledancer

vor 8 Monaten

Reviews

Der Vollständigkeit halber hier auch der Link zu meiner Review:
https://www.lovelybooks.de/autor/Witi-Ihimaera/The-Whale-Rider-246287505-w/rezension/1444387177/

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