Author: Lynne Kelly
Genre: Middle Grade
Pub Date: 2019
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Rating: 🐳 🐳 🐳 🐳 🐳
Twelve-year-old Iris has never let her deafness slow her down. A whiz at fixing electronics, she’s always felt at home in the world of wires and vacuum tubes.
School, on the other hand, isn’t quite as simple. Between her frustrating teacher Ms. Conn and her overly helpful classmate Nina, Iris can’t seem to catch a break.
But during science class, Iris learns about Blue 55—the loneliest whale in the world. Saddened by the animal’s inability to speak to other whales, Iris uses her tech skills to come up with a plan communicate with Blue 55.
One small problem: the whale is swimming off the coast of Alaska, nearly 3,000 miles from her Texas home. But, nothing stops Iris, and with her Deaf grandmother by her side, she sets out on a road trip to meet the whale and make sure he’s finally heard.
Song For a Whale was such a wonderful story to read. I have always loved whales and being near the ocean. This story brought me just a bit closer through a 12 year-old girl named Iris. Iris is deaf and hardly has any friends at her school. She goes through most of her day alone and not fitting in. When she learns about a whale with a unique song in one of her classes she becomes obsessed with this whale.
Blue 55 is a fictional character in Kelly’s story but is based off of a real whale named 52 Hertz. Blue 55 can’t communicate with other whales because his song is on a different frequency than other whales. This means he travels alone and is never able to connect with others, yet he keeps singing his song hoping someone will respond back one day.
Iris feels such a strong connection with Blue 55 that she is determined to produce a song on his frequency and have the animal sanctuary play it back for him. But nothing is ever quite that easy when your 12 years-old.
This story also focused on the life of a deaf person and how they see and understand the world. I’ve always wanted to take a sign language class. Over the years I have picked up a few signs while working with many non-verbal preschoolers.
This book is for anyone that loves animals or has ever struggled to fit in their part of the world. I loved it! I will definitely be checking out Chained next.
Lynne Kelly writes contemporary middle grade and young adult fiction. She was born in Galesburg, Illinois, grew up in Houston, lived in some much colder places, then found her way back to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter. For a few years she also taught special education, a good career for someone with excellent organizational and planning skills. Lacking those skills, she quit teaching in 2006 and thankfully has more time to write. But it was during those teaching years that she worked with some great kids and became interested in writing, so that all worked out.
Also by Lynne Kelly…
Thanks for stopping by! Have you read either of these titles? I hope you check this one out! Let me know what you think…
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