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Song for a Whale (Paperback)

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Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List


“A great book about the importance of community, understanding, and the spirit of adventure, Song for a Whale follows a young deaf girl whose curiosity is piqued by the story of a whale that is singularly unable to communicate with other whales. As the only deaf member in a hearing family, Iris immediately recognizes the severe loneliness of this situation, and her surge of empathy leads her to embark on a quest of growth and catharsis. There are myriad reasons why it is wonderful to meet a deaf heroine in young adult literature, but more than that, Iris is a wholly delightful character: a whiz-kid who digs electronics, who has a hot temper, who loves her grandmother, and who is vastly more than her inability to hear. I hope other readers enjoy meeting her as much as I did.”
— Amy Van Keuren, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Description


In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the Schneider Family Book Award-winning story of a deaf girl's connection to a whale whose song can't be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she's the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she's not very smart. If you've ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to "sing" to him! But he's three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.

"Fascinating, brave, and tender...a triumph." --Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

About the Author


Lynne Kelly has always loved reading, but while working as a special education teacher, she fell in love with children's literature all over again. She lives in Houston, Texas, and works as a sign language interpreter while writing books for kids. Her first book, Chained, was a South Asia Book Award Honor and Crystal Kite Award winner. Song for a Whale is her second novel. Find her online at http://lynnekellybooks.com/wordpress and on Twitter at @LynneKelly.

Praise For…


Schneider Family Book Award Winner
A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year


"At its luminous heart, Song for a Whale is a tale about longing for connection and finding it in the most magical and unexpected of places. Fascinating, brave and tender, this is a story like no other about a song like no other. A triumph." —Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

Song for a Whale is beautifully written and is such an important story for kids with big struggles in their lives.  I fell into Iris's world from the first chapter.  Lynne Kelly does an amazing job telling the story from Iris's perspective.” —Millicent Simmonds, actress, Wonderstruck and A Quiet Place

"A quick-moving, suspenseful plot takes her from junkyards to a cruise ship as she [Iris] gains the confidence to stand up for herself and take control of her life. Written by a sign-language interpreter, this story incorporates important elements of Deaf culture and the expansiveness and richness of ASL...this remains a satisfying, energetic read. Iris' adventures will engross readers." —Kirkus Reviews

"The strength of the book is its strong portrayal of Iris as a deaf girl in a hearing world and an intelligent 12-year-old in headlong, single-minded pursuit of her goal." —Booklist

"Subtly and poignantly drawing a parallel between the girl and whale, Kelly (Chained), who has worked as a sign language interpreter, relays Iris’s venture with credibility and urgency. This finely crafted novel affectingly illuminates issues of loneliness, belonging, and the power of communication." —Publishers Weekly

"Iris’s depth of empathy, the joy she feels working with radios, and the skillful way she navigates two different worlds of communication create an authenticity that will resonate with Deaf and hearing readers alike... An uplifting tale that’s a solid addition to most collections; especially recommended for libraries needing stronger representation of Deaf protagonists." —SLJ


Product Details
ISBN: 9781524770266
ISBN-10: 1524770264
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date: December 31st, 2019
Pages: 304
Language: English

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Staff Picks

OMG - this is a fantastic book that will make you hum along with all the musical legends depicted here in stunning photos shot by pioneering music photographer Sherry Rayn Barnett.  In my younger years, I was a paid musician with dreams of becoming the next Carole King and/or Linda Ronstadt.  Sherry's photos of these women, along with Carly Simon, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and so so many others bring alive the music scene of both NYC and LA during 1969 - 1989.  A who's who of early images of greatness -- mostly at live concerts -- of Janice Joplan, Prince, and Ronstadt (to name a few).  I LOVE this book and it would make a terrific gift to someone who enjoyed the music, who wanted to be a famous rock'n'roll star, or anyone interested in early pop / folk/country music history, especially women artists.  Sherry's pictures capture the essence of many of these artists.  We have signed copies, while supplies last.