Review by Mini Magoo
Martine is an eleven-year-old orphan who lives on a game reserve in South Africa with her grandmother. When her grandmother's friend Sadie breaks her leg and begs Martine and her grandma to visit her in Zimbabwe for a month, Martine can't help but be annoyed. She was looking forward to spending the summer riding her white giraffe Jemmy. Thankfully, her best friend Ben is allowed to come along.
It is said in Zimbabwe that the last resting place of the king of leopards is the resting place of enormous amounts of treasure. There is only one leopard left: the kingly Kahn. But now not only are poachers after Kahn, so are treasure-hunters, and either way, both want Kahn dead. Now it is up to Ben, friends made along the way, and especially Martine to save Kahn, the last leopard, from poachers and treasure-hunters, before it is too late.
Martine also has something else on her mind. There is a prophecy that states: "The child who can ride a white giraffe has a power over all animals." Surely that can’t mean Martine? Well, yes, she can ride a white giraffe ridiculously well and she has had a few strange experiences where she calms or befriends an animal very quickly, but can she actually be the child? And what is with the advice Grace, the village sangoma (medicine woman, healer, and prophecy interpreter) gave to her: "You must stay with Ben--whenever you separate, danger will follow you"?
I started The Last Leopard excited to read it, but not knowing what to expect. I got an amazing surprise. The Last Leopard is full of suspense, touching moments, and exciting breakthroughs. I couldn’t put this book down and was constantly wondering how Martine was going to figure her way out of her situation. I would recommend this book to any preteen.
Buy this book: The Last Leopard