Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather’s love and attention. But he is focused on his duties as chief of a Maori tribe in Whangara, on the East Coast of 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. Once that sacred gift is revealed, Kahu may be able to re-establish her people’s ancestral connections, earn her great-grandfather’s attention — and lead her tribe to a bold new future.
The 20th anniversary edition includes Author’s Notes.
The cover features Te Ihi o Tangaroa (Monarch of the Sea) (2004) by Maori artist Roi Toia.