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Song for a Whale

por Lynne Kelly

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6663035,204 (4.17)9
Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales.
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ADeaf girl won’t give up her quest to connect with a lonely whale.

Like many Deaf children, 12-year-old Iris has hearing parents, attends school with an interpreter, and has difficulty communicating with her classmates (especially the girl who believes her own invented gibberish is ASL). She had a close relationship with her Deaf grandparents, but her grandmother has withdrawn after her husband’s death, and Iris’ mom, a child of Deaf adults, has her own anxieties around her daughter’s need for Deaf community. The white girl’s troubles contrast with her black friend Wendell’s, whose hearing family is invested in Deaf language and culture. When Iris learns about Blue 55, a whale who sings at a frequency unintelligible to other whales, she feels an immediate kinship and concocts a plan to create a song Blue 55 can hear. A quick-moving, suspenseful plot takes her from junkyards to a cruise ship as she gains the confidence to stand up for herself and take control of her life. Written by a sign-language interpreter, this story incorporates important elements of Deaf culture and the expansiveness and richness of ASL but makes concessions to hearing readers in its recording of conversations. (ASL dialogue is appropriately rendered in fluent English.) The final suspenseful scenes strain credulity, and lengthy descriptions of frequencies and radio repair drag occasionally, but this remains a satisfying, energetic read.

Iris’ adventures will engross readers, though Deaf and hearing audiences will likely experience them differently. (Fiction. 8-14)

-Kirkus Review
  CDJLibrary | Nov 9, 2023 |
What a great book! This story follows Iris, a 12 year old girl who is deaf. She is fascinated by radios and has fixed any one she has set her mind to. She is struggling to fit in at her school because she can't communicate the same as her peers and feels othered and lonely. She is frustrated when other people view her valid feelings of being othered as her having a bad attitude. Her grandfather, who was also deaf, has passed and she is missing him as well. When she learns about a whale who communicates at a different frequency than any other whale she feels an immediate kinship and connection to it. She starts on a personal mission to figure out a frequency she can communicate with this whale so that he doesn't feel alone. This starts her on a journey of courage, strength and self-discovery, and with a little help from her grandmother, she is able to set her plans in motion. This book has a great main character and beautiful message. I loved every page. ( )
  KellyReads5 | Jul 14, 2023 |
What a great read! I love the author's writing from the 1st person POV as both a girl with deafness and a whale -- pretty creative. I think children in grades 3 - 6 would adore this story, find compassion with the characters and also be inspired to learn more about the real Blue 52, hearing ranges, musical tones/scales and more. ( )
  deemaromer | Feb 23, 2023 |
Great book! I particularly loved Iris' relationships with her Deaf grandparents and her way of signing poems with her grandfather. Altogether, the relationships were really well written across the board -- from the clueless and harmful classmate Nina, to her brother and best friend, to her sometimes rocky but very realistic communication with her parents. I also love the cruise ship as getaway -- hard to imagine a more effective means of removing oneself from regular contact while presenting a very safe way to do it. Mad props to Grandma for her heist abilities and her wandering nature. I also really loved Iris' interactions with sound, and her keen appreciation of radio repair. I really hope, in the end, that she gets her Philco back. The focus on Blue 55 and his song was such a thoughtful and high impact emotional bridge -- but I love that Tristan calls Iris out on figuring out why she needs so badly to connect to this whale. The book shows some really beautiful growth over the course of the story, and Iris figuring out what she needs to continue that growth is an incredibly strong thread.

I appreciated that Lynne Kelly is totally transparent in her connections with the Deaf community in the Author's note, and also about the readers she hired to hold her story to account. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This is about a whale, but it is more about the girl who is chasing the whale. Iris, being the only deaf girl in her school, feels like no one understands her. When she learns about a whale who seems to have the same problem, she immediately feels a kinship with him. The book follows her quest to let this whale know someone is listening to him. The quest was made harder because she speaks a different language than everyone else. The way she relates to the hearing world and how they relate to her was interesting to see. Expressions are different in sign language, her teacher was upset because a poem she wrote didn't rhyme but to her it did. So even though she had a translator communication was not always easy. I never thought of sign language that way before. I liked how Kelly used the whale's story to tell Iris's. You could feel Iris's frustration with not belonging and not being understood, even when those who loved her tried their best. It is a wonderful look at a girl learning how to make her own space in a world that doesn't seem to have a space for her. And the people that love her learning how to let her. ( )
  bedda | Mar 22, 2022 |
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For everyone who's ever felt alone
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Until last summer I thought the only thing I had in common with that whale on the beach was a name.
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"You're like him [Grandpa] in that way - able to communicate with people you don't know. I'm always in my own head too much to know what to say to other people." (p. 159)
[Grandma to Iris]: "Thank you so much for going on the adventure with me. It was exactly what I needed. Even though Grandpa wasn't around to enjoy it, I feel like he's with me again. I think when I was that sad, there wasn't any room for him. Now there is." (p. 283)
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Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales.

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Lynne Kelly é um Autor LibraryThing, um autor que lista a sua biblioteca pessoal no LibraryThing.

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