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Water Skyby Jean Craighead George
Synopses & Reviews
"Nukik! Lincoln gasped, his skin tingling. Could this be happening! Had he just seen a whale with a white tail? Was it now going to give itself to him, as Vincent had said?
Lincoln still could not believe it. He had had only one thing in mind when he made the long trip from Massachusetts to Barrow, Alaska, and that was to find his Uncle Jack. He thought Vincent Ologak, an Eskimo whaling captain, could tell him where to find him, for Vincent was the man Uncle Jack had planned to see when he went to Alaska to help save the bowhead whale from extinction.
But Vincent Ologak cannot or will not give Lincoln a straight answer. As far as he is concerned, Lincoln is there for a very different purpose from the one he himself imagines: A whale is coming to Lincoln, a whale that will end two years of waiting and suffering for Vincent's people.
Nothing in Lincoln's past experience quite prepares him for the whaling camp at Barrow. Here ice is a living presence and the temperature is so cold that spilled water hits the ground as ice balls. Here for the first time he meets young Eskimos-especially Unpik, with whom he falls deeply in lovewhose strong identification with their Eskimo culture leads Lincoln to question his own identity. But above all else it is Vincent Ologak's vision of him that teaches Lincoln more than he has ever learned anywhere before.
Jean Craighead George blends masterfully observed nature scenes and a wry story of first love in one of her most appealing and moving novels.Life in today's New England hasn't prepared Lincoln for the ways of an Alaskan whaling camp. But it's there that he draws strength from an Eskimo captain's vision of him and his connection with Nukik, the whale that gives itself to Lincoln and the people of Barrow. ‘Beautifully written, with a fine blend of Eskimo ritual and modern science.' 'SLJ.
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children 1987 (NSTA/CBC)
This book addresses the issues of conservation and cultural heritage as New Englander Lincoln Noah Stonewright spends the summer in Alaska with the family of an Eskimo whaling captain.
About the Author
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in a family of naturalists, Jean George has centered her life around writing and nature. She attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating with degrees in English and science. In the 1940s she was a member of the White House press corps and a reporter for the Washington Post. Ms. George, who has written over 90 books - among them My Side of the Mountain (Dutton), a 1960 Newbery Honor Book, and its sequels On the Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful's Mountain (both Dutton) - also hikes, canoes, and makes sourdough pancakes. In 1991, Ms. George became the first winner of the School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association's Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature, which was presented to her for the "consistent superior quality" of her literary works.
Her inspiration for the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves evolved from two specific events during a summer she spent studying wolves and tundra at the Arctic Research Laboratory of Barrow, Alaska: "One was a small girl walking the vast ad lonesome tundra outside of Barrow; the other was a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park ... They haunted me for a year or more, as did the words of one of the scientists at the lab: 'If there ever was any doubt in my mind that a man could live with the wolves, it is gone now. The wolves are truly gentlemen, highly social and affectionate.'"
The mother of three children, Jean George is a grandmother who has joyfully red to her grandchildren since they were born. Over the years Jean George has kept 173 pets, not including dogs and cats, in her home in Chappaqua, New York. "Most of these wild animals depart in autumn, when the sun changes their behavior and they feel the urge to migrate or go off alone. While they are with us, however, they become characters in my books, articles, and stories."
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