A 12-year-old white girl finds healing when a pod of orca whales enters her life.
Since her mother left, narrator Marisa and her father have been living on a houseboat in Puget Sound. It isn’t until a family of orcas comes into the inlet that Marisa is able to begin rising out of the murk of grief she feels over the unexplained departure of her mom. However, so many visitors come to see the orcas that the inlet becomes polluted with vessels, making the orcas nervous; still, despite the waning fish supply, the orcas do not leave. Marisa and her mom had once bonded over their mutual wonder of whales, and her mother taught her all about whale behavior, so despite her misery, Marisa comes to realize that she can help. As the orcas’ lives become increasingly imperiled, Marisa unleashes her imagination, her compassion, and her courage to find a solution, both for the orcas and to understand her own relationship with her mother. Moments close to the orcas are breathtakingly described, accentuating the thrill as the whales breach, sound, and vocalize. Basing her story on actual events, the author has created a poignant novel that vividly celebrates the interconnected nature of all living creatures.
Like the eerily beautiful voices of the orcas in the ocean, this book will haunt readers. (Fiction. 8-15)