The Stranded Whale
Jane Yolen & Melanie Cataldo
Candlewick, 2015 (2015)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
hen Sally and her brothers discover a large whale beached on the shore, they run for help and are instrumental in launching a community effort to save the poor creature.
ut with the tide receding and the enormous size of the stranded whale, it is a futile effort and the children must accept the fact that their well meaning actions are all in vain.
lthough they receive medals from the Coast Guard for effort, the children, and Sally in particular, aren't very proud of the recognition.
So, the whale died and we were heroes. Yet somehow I was still mad. I put my medal in the drawer and never took it out again,
' she explained.
ost books of this nature sugar coat the situation and the story ends on a happy note with the animal set free or returned to its natural habitat. Living here on the shores of Monterey Bay, I know otherwise. In other words, there are not always happy outcomes when humans intervene to help animals in distress.
ane Yolen does an excellent job in pointing this out in a manner that is both sensitive and realistic. This book will help the young reader accept this fact.
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