I really quite liked Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. This is a pretty popular book because of the movie (although from reading a summary of the movie, it's fairly different). The author writes that he wanted to tell this story because his daughters wanted a story with a strong female character, and you have that here, but it's interesting he chose to tell the story almost entirely from that character's uncle's point of few. There are only a few paragraphs where Kahu's voice comes through at all.
I don't usually do summaries of books when I write about them; I'll just stick with saying this is a YA book set in New Zealand and is very short.
I've never seen the movie although I know it's well-liked; some have even told me the movie is better. But for right now, I really liked the book. Recommended.