Author(s): Witi Ihimaera
Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather's love and attention. But he's focused on his duties as chief of Ngati Konohi in Whangara, on the East Coast - 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.