Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
This book showed up on mock lists for Newbery, so I added it to my TBR pile for that reason. However, after looking further and realizing that it was a book about whales from their perspective I became excited to read it. I love whales and I am interested in learning about their lives, even if it is fictional.
Young Vega hopes to be a Wayfinder like her many female ancestors. However, she is still pretty young and inexperienced. While her failure of her first food finding expedition would have been terrible, Vega can’t wait for her mother to give birth to her sister. She needs that bond and brothers just aren’t the same, especially in whale families. Vega’s sister enters the world stillborn, which sends Vega into an emotional shock. Taking her sister’s body, Vega swims away from her family to find a perfect burial place. Young male whale, Deneb, follows Vega in hopes of bringing her back to the family. While the two are on their own journey a devastating tsunami/earthquake hits the ocean and the two young whales will need to use everything they have learned to survive and find their family again.
The simplistic writing and plot will appeal to young readers, or reluctant readers. Vega and Deneb deal with some pretty emotional and serious things that may be difficult for sensitive readers, but are a truth that whales experience in the wild. The art in this book is what gives it magic. The gorgeous images solidify the story in the reader’s mind. This book would pair wonderfully with a wildlife project in classrooms or other nonfiction pairings.