A Whale of the Wild - book cover
Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • Publisher : Greenwillow Books
  • Published : 31 Aug 2021
  • Pages : 336
  • ISBN-10 : 0062995936
  • ISBN-13 : 9780062995933
  • Language : English

A Whale of the Wild

"A spellbinding, heart-stopping adventure." -Booklist (starred review)

"A dreamily written, slyly educational, rousing maritime adventure." -New York Times Book Review

In the stand-alone companion to the New York Times–bestselling A Wolf Called Wander, a young orca whale must lead her brother on a tumultuous journey to be reunited with their pod. This gorgeously illustrated animal adventure novel explores family bonds, survival, global warming, and a changing seascape. Includes information about orcas and their habitats.

For Vega and her family, salmon is life. And Vega is learning to be a salmon finder, preparing for the day when she will be her family's matriarch. But then she and her brother Deneb are separated from their pod when a devastating earthquake and tsunami render the seascape unrecognizable. Vega must use every skill she has to lead her brother back to their family. The young orcas face a shark attack, hunger, the deep ocean, and polluted waters on their journey. Will Vega become the leader she's destined to be?

A Whale of the Wild weaves a heart-stopping tale of survival with impeccable research on a delicate ecosystem and threats to marine life. New York Times-bestselling author Rosanne Parry's fluid writing and Lindsay Moore's stunning artwork bring the Salish Sea and its inhabitants to vivid life. An excellent read-aloud and read-alone, this companion to A Wolf Called Wander will captivate fans of The One and Only Ivan and Pax.

Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout, a map, and extensive backmatter about orcas and their habitats.

Editorial Reviews

"Parry creates a spellbinding, heart-stopping adventure for middle-grade readers-this time about a pod of orca whales and their plight in today's Salish Sea. . . . Parry's thorough research, observation, and creative writing combine to share the marvelous matriarchal familial world of orcas . . . Her descriptive narrative rises in intensity to match each new danger and resolves with a bittersweet yet hopeful finish. . . . Excellent." -- Booklist (starred review)

"After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure. . . . Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. . . . A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Vega is a young orca whale being trained by her mother to one day be the group's Wayfinder . . . But when she and her young brother are separated from the pod . . . Vega must use her wayfinding skills to reunite them with their elders. . . . Parry weav[es] a great deal of information about orcas and their habits into the narrative." -- School Library Journal

"After just a few pages, readers will be completely immersed in the underwater world of Rosanne Parry's A Whale of the Wild . . . [Parry] skillfully incorporates details about orcas as well as the many threats to their existence. . . . A Whale of the Wild offers brisk drama alongside insight and wisdom, demonstrating the vital importance of taking care of each other and the world we live in-above and below the surface." -- BookPage.com

"[An] enthralling new novel . . . Parry writes in a tradition of animal adventure novels that address environmental issues from the animals' point of view . . . A Whale of the Wild is a dreamily written, slyly educational, rousing maritime adventure." -- New York Times Book Review

"A story about two young orcas, Vega and her little brother, Deneb. . . . When Vega acts impulsively, the siblings become separated from their pod. In searching for their lost family, they discover friends - and grave danger." -- Washington Post

"Vega, a late-adolescent orca whale . . . lives in the Salish Sea, an area of stunning ecological richness and diversity . . . When there's an earthquake with its resulting tsunami, Vega and Deneb become separated from their pod. Parry does a convincing job of presenting orca life in fresh language that rings true. . . . [and] becomes increasingly heartbreaking as the characters try to deal with the fracturing of their world. The story contains gracefully integrated information . . . Detailed black-and-white illustrations beautifu...

Readers Top Reviews

Steve CK Llucie A
It was a birthday present for my granddaughter who desperately wanted it.
Such a wonderful book... my 11 yo son read it twice
Anissa Perrou
We are headed to the San Juan Islands on vacation and this book was a great mix of fact and fiction for my nine year old before we go on vacation. She is excited to potentially get to see an Orca.
What a beautiful book. I bought it for my 9 year old but I couldn't put it down. What a great way to develop awareness and empathy for the environment 'indirectly '. I'll be buying more of her books. I hope my daughter loves it as much as I did!
Anita Ojeda
For Vega, a young Orca whale living in the waters near the Seattle, WA area, finding food means surviving. For some reason, the salmon have failed to return to the area on time, and her family faces starvation. Always inquisitive and playful, Vega struggles to make the right choices as each day without food leaves the pod bewildered and weaker. Her greatmother trusts that one day, Vega will lead their pod as an experienced Wayfinder. But her cousin doubts Vega’s abilities. Her younger brother, Deneb, staunchly supports his sister, even when her decisions separate the two of them from the pod and launch them on a journey far from home in search of safety and food. Vega and Deneb narrate this gripping story that takes readers through the lives of an Orca pod living in the Pacific Northwest. The author’s descriptions of humans from Vega’s perspective made me laugh. Her understanding of the importance of family, friendships, and diversity to the fragile ecosystem of our lives made me weep. Why You’ll Love This Book While written for middle-grade students, this book would make a perfect read-aloud for younger students. The author includes facts and research about Orca whales at the end of the book—enough to satisfy all the questions that arise while reading. For example, while Vega refers to herself as a youngster, the reader discovers she has lived through 40 seasons. The magical illustrations help draw young readers into the story—a must for readers who have just started reading longer chapter books. Even if you don’t fit into the intended category of reader, buy the book and read it anyway. You won’t regret it, even if you’re 99!

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