Synopses & Reviews
In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the story of a deaf girl's connection to a whale whose song can't be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.
Twelve-year-old Iris has never let her deafness slow her down. A whiz at fixing electronics, she has always felt at home in the world of wires and vacuum tubes.
School, on the other hand, isn't so simple. Iris is the only Deaf student in her classes, and she finds herself frustrated by the way people interact with her deafness, whether it's her teacher talking down to her or an overly helpful classmate signing childlike ASL in her face.
During science class, Iris learns about Blue 55, the loneliest whale in the world. Saddened by the animal's inability to speak to other whales, Iris uses her tech skills to come up with a plan to communicate with Blue 55.
One small problem: the whale is swimming off the coast of Alaska, nearly three thousand miles from Iris's Texas home. But nothing will stop Iris, and with her Deaf grandmother by her side, she sets out on a trip to meet Blue 55 and make sure he's finally heard.
"A quick-moving, suspenseful plot....this story incorporates important elements of Deaf culture and the expansiveness and richness of ASL...this remains a satisfying, energetic read. Iris' adventures will engross readers." Kirkus Reviews
"The strength of the book is its strong portrayal of Iris as a deaf girl in a hearing world and an intelligent 12-year-old in headlong, single-minded pursuit of her goal." Booklist
"Subtly and poignantly drawing a parallel between the girl and whale....This finely crafted novel affectingly illuminates issues of loneliness, belonging, and the power of communication." Publishers Weekly
In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the Schneider Family Book Award-winning story of a deaf girl's connection to a whale whose song can't be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.
From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she's the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she's not very smart. If you've ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.
When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to sing to him But he's three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?
Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.
Fascinating, brave, and tender...a triumph. --Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan
About the Author
Lynne Kelly has always loved reading, but while working as a special education teacher, she fell in love with children's literature all over again. She lives in Houston, Texas, and works as a sign language interpreter while writing books for kids. Her first book, Chained, was a South Asia Book Award Honor and Crystal Kite Award winner. Song for a Whale is her second novel. Find her online at http: //lynnekellybooks.com/wordpress and on Twitter at @LynneKelly.