High and Dry

Orca. Feb. 2020. 88p. pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781459823105.
Gr 2-4–Dylan, who is living on a remote island with his parents, has an opportunity to explore the wildlife of his temporary home. Although lonely, he is learning so much about nature and the consequences of his actions. During a storm, a small orca whale is separated from his pod and is beached during low tide. When Dylan becomes aware of the young orca’s situation, he is determined to help. He knows that the whale needs moisture and protection from the hot sun until the tide comes back in. He endeavors to keep the whale wet and covered with blankets so that it doesn’t dehydrate or burn. For 10 hours, Dylan works tirelessly to protect the displaced mammal. Over the course of their time together, a bond forms between the boy and the orca. Walters draws readers in by expertly describing the storm, the whale’s struggle, and Dylan’s determination to save the stranded animal. Using simple terms and uncomplicated dialogue, the story will engage even the most reluctant reader. With educational information about orcas interspersed throughout, this is a well-written tale that deftly incorporates a lesson about marine life and nature.
VERDICT Walters has woven a touching story about the connection humans have with other living beings on Earth. Recommended for wide purchase.

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