Heart of a Dolphin

192p. Scholastic. May 2016. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780545917636; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780545919418.
Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old Annie's summer isn't going as planned. Her best friend Emma is spending most of her time with the rich, snobby girls in Twin Coves Point; little brother Will is being a pest; and her dad's new restaurant takes up much of the family's time. As she begins spending solitary time at the beach, Annie finds a dolphin that is trapped by fishing wire at the end of a rocky spit. She rescues it, and a strong bond is formed. Some aspects strain credulity—Annie's brother acts far younger than his years, and the dolphin comes just when Annie needs it most, under the most unlikely circumstances. However, the loss of a best friend is a universal experience, as are the various pains of growing up. Annie learns some hard-won lessons and achieves positive results, sending a hopeful message to the audience.
VERDICT This relatively quick read will appeal to animal lovers and reluctant readers alike.

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