Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

This story quickly became one of my favorite middle grade novels. So much so that I went out to purchase my own copy so I can read it with my girls when they are old enough. I usually check books out at the library, so purchasing a book is a big deal in our house.

The main character, Iris, is a twelve year old girl who goes to public school like any other kid, but unlike everyone else in her school, she is deaf. Also unlike her classmates, she loves fixing up old radios. While in one of her classes, she learns about a unique blue whale named Blue 55 who can not communicate with other blue whales, and is often left on his own. Iris can relate, so she sets out to create a song that Blue 55 will be able to hear. She learns to ask for help with the project, and is willing to give up her most prized possessions (and get into some trouble) to ensure Blue 55 hears her song, just so he knows that someone is listening.

I was so touched by this story, and I love how Lynne Kelly incorporated so many science concepts seamlessly into Iris’s world. Lynne has an extensive background with the deaf community, and it shines through the book. In th book’s author’s note, she even educates her reader on the actual whale that inspired Blue 55.

I highly recommend this novel to every kid and adult, and I honestly can not recommend it enough.

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