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The Stranded Whale



by
Jane Yolen
illustrated by
Melanie Cataldo

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9780763669539
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Cruelty to Animals
$12.00   $5.00
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Maine, 1971: Sally and her brothers are walking home on the beach when she spots “a stranded whale lying on its side, with the outgoing tide too far behind it.” How can they possibly help? Author’s note. Full-color illustrations done in digital paint, oil paint, and pencil.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Cruelty to Animals

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

32

Trim Size

10 1/4" x 9 1/16"

AR

4.2: points 0.5

Lexile

AD890L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Oct 2015

Book Genres


Topics

Whales. Beaches. Sibling relationships. Maine. Whale beachings. Oceans. Tides. Working together. Helping an animal. The Coast Guard.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

The Horn Book Guide, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

While walking home from school along the Maine coast, Sally and her two brothers see a beached whale. With the tide ebbing, they rush to wet down the animal’s tail and fins. After Josh runs to summon help, adult volunteers and Coast Guard members arrive. Efforts to move the whale prove futile. As Sally talks to it, the animal lets out “a huge sigh like the wind off the ocean” and dies. When a Coast Guard man present medals to the children, Sally expresses the irony to herself. “So, the whale died and we were heroes.” Yolen masterfully conveys both the urgency of Sally’s rush to save the whale and her anger and sorrow at its death. An author’s note explains her decision to set the story in 1971, when lack of cell phones would delay the arrival of both helpers and broadcasters. She also discusses possible reasons for beachings, which usually end with the whale’s death. Cataldo’s paintings employ the grays, steel blues, and browns of a northern coastline. Clothing colors are also muted, and daylight gives way to evening, adding to the low-key and pensive mood. VERDICT This poignant story reminds readers that despite human efforts, not all living beings can be saved and honestly portrays the frustration and sadness that can result. A thought-provoking choice.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

While walking home from school along the Maine coast, Sally and her two brothers see a beached whale. With the tide ebbing, they rush to wet down the animal’s tail and fins. After Josh runs to summon help, adult volunteers and Coast Guard members arrive. Efforts to move the whale prove futile. As Sally talks to it, the animal lets out “a huge sigh like the wind off the ocean” and dies. When a Coast Guard man present medals to the children, Sally expresses the irony to herself. “So, the whale died and we were heroes.” Yolen masterfully conveys both the urgency of Sally’s rush to save the whale and her anger and sorrow at its death. An author’s note explains her decision to set the story in 1971, when lack of cell phones would delay the arrival of both helpers and broadcasters. She also discusses possible reasons for beachings, which usually end with the whale’s death. Cataldo’s paintings employ the grays, steel blues, and browns of a northern coastline. Clothing colors are also muted, and daylight gives way to evening, adding to the low-key and pensive mood. VERDICT This poignant story reminds readers that despite human efforts, not all living beings can be saved and honestly portrays the frustration and sadness that can result. A thought-provoking choice.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato

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Interests
Beginning Readers,Chapter Books,Fiction,Picture Books
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