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Whale Song: School Edition Paperback – August 20, 2011
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Originally published in Canada in 2003 (but never distributed in the U.S.), this moving story features Sarah Richardson, whose family moves from the Montana countryside to Vancouver Island just as she's about to enter sixth grade. Sarah soon finds that island life suits her perfectly--thanks, especially, to her new best friend, Goldie, whose Native American heritage Sarah finds fascinating, especially the wisdom passed to the girls from Goldie's grandmother, Nana. Sarah is also intrigued to learn that her marine-biologist father shares a passion with her new Indian friends: killer whales, which the natives revere and her father studies. Life isn't all native spirituality, however, as Sarah must confront a family tragedy that will change her life forever. Though overly melodramatic in places, Tardif's story has that perennially crowd-pleasing combination of sweet and sad that so often propels popular commercial fiction, especially coming-of-age stories. Tardif, already a big hit in Canada, may soon be a name to reckon with south of the border. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"I read Whale Song and loved it." --actress Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)
"Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel." --New York Times bestselling novelist Luanne Rice, author of Beach Girls
"Moving...perennially crowd-pleasing combination of sweet and sad...Tardif, already a big hit in Canada...a name to reckon with south of the border." ―BOOKLIST
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The native grandmother had wonderful legends to tell and was a wise guide....the rest of the people were so generic it was difficult to read through their dull and simple dialogs.
The tragedy was predictable but could have gone deeper and more thoughtful.
My first negative review...bought the book on the recommendation of someone.
While extremely personal and emotive, there does seem to be a lack of story and plot at times. Sometimes I got a bit bored and wasn't personally following the character's train of thought. The character's later years at the end of the book seem a bit rushed --- so much time was spent in the childhood years, and the latter years seem sparse in comparison. Only a personal preference, but I would have liked to see more young adult and less childhood.
I was fascinated by the interwoven details of Native American culture and racism in all its forms. Some of the scenes are sad and heartbreaking, yet mild enough for an older elementary school reader. The main character doesn't really get dealt an easy hand in her life, and she struggles a lot with how she deals and copes.
This is a drama, not a romance or comedy. It is idyllic, set in a small town with rural values, misconceptions, and the like.
I tend to prefer happy books with more of an upbeat tone combined with prose, so for me, this wasn't something I could rave on and on about. I would, however, recommend it to people who like a slower-paced, soul-searching drama through the eyes of a young girl.
Wolf is guiding and hinting, but as in European culture rooted, feared.
This story swims between white and Canadian aboriginal cultures. It paints pictures of nature and people. It raises issues many would like to ignore, forget about.
As usual for Cheryl, each and every character in this book is so realistic written, that it is hard to believe that this is pure fiction.
What are the questions and issues that are raised?
- Is assisted suicide murder?
- Can bullies and their victims become friends, and if so - How?
- What is racism? Who is guilty? What can/must be done?
- Are killer whales murderer?
- Are Wolfe's mean?
- Whom will Adam marry?
- What happens to Sarah?
- What defines you, me, her, every- and anyone?
This book does not start with lots of action, but with great images and important character introduction, so when you are looking for bodies at the start forget this book, but if you are interested in life and beauty: You will love this piece of written art!
The ending felt jumpy, stilted, and rushed. All the depth she gave the story before the tragedy was completely skipped over in the last 1/3 of the book. The foreshadowing throughout the book is (again like Children of the Fog) to strong/obvious, making the ending way too predictable, way too soon.
I did enjoy reading it for the most part because it has an interesting storyline and plot, and I will read more from this author because her stories really have been enjoyable to read so far, and have the potential to be really great. I'm optomistic that over time, the author's writing will get better and better.
The beauty of a mother's art;
The intelligence of a marine biologist father;
The lost memory of a daughter;
Pods of whales that glide beautifully through the water, the eagle of freedom and the wolf that beckons for recall.
DO NOT DOUBT THAT THIS IS A BOOK THAT YOU WILL WANT TO READ AGAIN AND AGAIN. If you are so inclined, grab the tissue box.