Synopses & Reviews
This captivating bestseller tells the true story of a miraculous encounter between a teenaged girl and a baby whale off the coast of California. It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was swimming her last half mile back to the pier after a long workout when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; whatever it was felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.
In fact, it was a baby gray whale following alongside her. Lynne quickly realized that if she swam back to the pier, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs. On the other hand, if Lynne didn't find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.
Something so enormous the mother whale would be at least fifty feet long suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her?
This is the story part mystery, part magical tale of what happened.
"An inspirational, almost spiritual read." Kirkus Reviews
"A moving and memorable story, filled with dramatic tension and loving descriptions of the sea and all the wondrous creatures it holds. Grayson is a celebration of the natural world in all its glory, and the deep and lasting effect it can have on us humans if only we pause to notice." John Grogan, author of Marley and Me
"Lynne Cox is a master of story telling: her prose captures the vast movements and deep mysteries of the ocean and the creatures for whom it is home. Everyone who reads Grayson will be enchanted and profoundly moved. Grayson is a powerful voice for conservation." Jane Goodall, Ph.D.
"[A] simple but suspenseful narrative....This true adventure is as breathtaking as the exotic underwater life that the author describes in vivid detail." School Library Journal
One dark morning while the 17-year-old author was training for a long-distance swim, she became aware that something was swimming with her a baby gray whale that had become separated from its mother. This is the magical, mysterious tale of how Cox miraculously reunited mother and baby.
About the Author
Lynne Cox has set records all over the world for open-water swimming. She was named a Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of California-Santa Barbara. She is the author of Swimming to Antarctica, which won an Alex Award. She lives in Los Alamitos, California.
Interview with Lynne Cox, author of Grayson
Q: Grayson depicts the extraordinary events that occurred during one of your morning training sessions in the Pacific Ocean. Why did you decide to write about this miraculous encounter now?
LC: For many years I thought about the experience, and it took time to figure out how to write about it and how to share the story with other people.
Q: Your descriptions of marine life are so vivid that readers will feel as though they are in the water with you, searching for Grayson's mother. Were you able to recall the day’s events by memory or did you rely on a journal?
LC: Because the experience was so unusual, I remembered many of the events. I wanted to immerse readers in the experience and put them mentally and emotionally in the water with me. I returned to Seal Beach and swam off the pier and along the shore so I could describe details I would have otherwise missed if I only had recalled the experience.
Q: As an open-water swimmer, you need to be aware of every creature in the sea, as well as to detect changes in the air and ocean currents. How did you become so in tune with nature?
LC: One of the reasons I love to swim in open water is because it enables me to observe what's around me. It's not like pool swimming where the water is controlled and tamed. The ocean, sky, sun, stars, wind, currents, and tides are always moving and changing. I move through a dynamic place that, at times, is very dramatic. I love to be able to explore places I've never been or discover something new around me.
There's something really amazing about having a baby whale or dolphin come up and swim alongside of you.
Q: You recount many of your long-distance swims in the bestselling memoir, Swimming to Antarctica. Where would you rank this swim in relation to your other impressive oceanic adventures?
LC: Swimming with Grayson was one of the most unique experiences in my lifetime. That moment in time, though, was far more than a swim; it was really a turning point for me in my life. It was when I realized that I wanted to attempt things that others might consider really difficult or perhaps nearly impossible, and if I stayed committed and focused, I could achieve them.
Q: You also participate in events to raise awareness of environmental issues, such as your swim across the Ohio River in August 2006. Are you involved in any other clean-water causes?
LC: The Sierra Club and Rivers Unlimited contacted me to participate in that swim across the Ohio River; they've stayed in touch and update me on their progress.
I continue to be asked to participate in clean-water and other environmental causes and I do so whenever I can.
Q: Grayson has touched readers from five to ninety-five. Why do you think this book has such a broad appeal?
LC: The story is about believing in one's self and one's ability, and it's about one's interconnected place in the world. Whether you're a child, a teenager, an adult, or a senior, I think you want to recognize that connection in one way or another. When you read the book, I hope that you feel what it was like to swim with Grayson and feel the sense of real-life magic.
Copyright © 2008 Harcourt
Questions written by Roseleigh Navarre