Grayson [NOOK Book]

Overview

Grayson is Lynne Cox’s first book since Swimming to Antarctica (“Riveting”—Sports Illustrated; “Pitch-perfect”—Outside). In it she tells the story of a miraculous ocean encounter that happened to her when she was seventeen and in training for a big swim (she had already swum the English Channel, twice, and the Catalina Channel).

It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, ...
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Grayson

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Overview

Grayson is Lynne Cox’s first book since Swimming to Antarctica (“Riveting”—Sports Illustrated; “Pitch-perfect”—Outside). In it she tells the story of a miraculous ocean encounter that happened to her when she was seventeen and in training for a big swim (she had already swum the English Channel, twice, and the Catalina Channel).

It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, outside the wave break. She was swimming her last half-mile back to the pier before heading home for breakfast when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; thousands of baby anchovy darted through the water like lit sparklers, trying to evade something larger. Whatever it was, it felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.

It wasn’t a shark. It became clear that it was a baby gray whale—following alongside Lynne for a mile or so. Lynne had been swimming for more than an hour; she needed to get out of the water to rest, but she realized that if she did, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs.

The baby whale—eighteen feet long!—was migrating on a three-month trek to its feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, an eight-thousand-mile journey. It would have to be carried on its mother’s back for much of that distance, and was dependent on its mother’s milk for food—baby whales drink up to fifty gallons of milk a day. If Lynne didn’t find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.

Something so enormous—the mother whale was fifty feet long—suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her?

This is the story—part mystery, part magical tale—of what happened . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In 1975, Lynne Cox hadn't yet been elected to the Swimming Hall of Fame or achieved international renown as the author of Swimming to Antarctica. She was just a teenage swimming prodigy, training to eclipse the Catalina Channel world record. One morning, completing a predawn swim in chilly California waters, she realized that she had somehow picked up an unbidden companion: a baby gray whale. She knew that if she did the wrong thing and swam into shore, the 18-foot baby would beach itself and die. This magical tale tells how Lynne Cox did the right thing. It's one of the sweetest and most fascinating animal stories in years.
Publishers Weekly
On a clear California morning when Cox (Swimming to Antarctica) was 17 years old, she had an unusual experience that stayed with her for 30 years, creating a spiritual foundation for her personal and professional success. In this slim and crisp memoir, Cox details a morning swim off the coast of California that took an unexpected turn: returning to shore, she discovered that she was being followed by a baby gray whale that had been separated from its mother. As Cox developed a rapport with the whale, she took on the responsibility of keeping it at sea until it was reunited with its mother. Cox expertly weaves fine details together, from the whale's mushroomlike skin to how other fish react to such a large creature. At times Cox's prose is uneven, alternating from emotional to factual, but her pure joy at connecting with Grayson (her name for the baby whale) overrides any technical inconsistencies. The combination of retelling her once-in-a-lifetime experience with her observations on life ("If I try, if I believe, if I work toward something... the impossible isn't impossible at all") will have timeless appeal for all ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA
Predawn swimming in fifty-degree water off the coast of California was routine for seventeen-year-old Lynne Cox. But for Cox, the author of Swimming to Antarctica (Knopf, 2004), one morning workout became anything but typical when she discovered an eighteen-foot baby gray whale swimming with her. Continuing to shore would spell doom for the whale if he followed, so Cox decided that even though she was already exhausted, she would stay in the water to help the baby whale, whom she named "Grayson," find his mother. Despite a number of setbacks and moments of near panic when she lost sight of Grayson for significant amounts of time, Cox refused to give up. Drawing on her inner strength and optimism, she kept going, thinking that "If I try, if I believe, if I work toward something . . . the impossible isn't impossible at all.o Cox's remarkable journey and amazing encounters with all variety of ocean life, including a particularly vivid and moving description of a large group of dolphins "just clowning around," clearly illustrate why the experience has remained etched in the memory of the famous long-distance swimmer for more than thirty years. Her lyrical prose, understated wisdom, and obvious reverence and respect for the ocean and everything that lives in it give the story a spiritual feel. Although the initial chapters lack the suspense and action of the latter half of the book, teens who stick with this quiet tale of hope and perseverance will be richly rewarded. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Knopf, 160p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Brehm-Heeger
Library Journal
(See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/06) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In a simple but suspenseful narrative, the author recounts her mystical encounter with a baby whale and his mother on a March morning 30 years ago. Then 17 years old, Cox was just completing her swim off Seal Beach, CA, and heading toward shore when the ocean became unusually rough and swarming with small fish. A large animal that she at first mistook for a shark was swimming just beneath her. In fact, it was an 18-foot-long baby gray whale. Cox was frightened and then enchanted by the playful creature that seemed to want to follow her to shore, an act that would be fatal for him. She developed an emotional bond with the whale she calls Grayson, guiding him away from the shore. Both teen and calf were hungry, fatigued, and dehydrated, but Cox, frozen to the bone in 55-degree water, was determined to find the baby's mother. With incredible optimism and courage, and the guidance and encouragement of nearby fishermen and lifeguards, Cox finally united Grayson with his huge, barnacled parent. This true adventure is as breathtaking as the exotic underwater life that the author describes in vivid detail.-Jackie Gropman, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a sequel of sorts to Swimming to Antarctica (2004), renowned distance swimmer Cox tells the story of an ordinary practice swim that took a decidedly extraordinary turn. She was about to wrap up her workout when she realized that she was being followed by a baby whale, who had somehow been separated from his mother. Cox was dog-tired, but realized that if she came ashore, the whale would try to follow her and would die. So she stayed in the water for hours, swimming around with the baby she dubbed Grayson, waiting and watching and hoping his mother would return. Cox vividly recreates the experience of the exhausting swim. Commenting on her hunger, she writes: "All I wanted was a . . . cup of hot chocolate with a mound of whipped cream as big as Big Bear Mountain in the distance . . . or carrot cake with pecans and cinnamon and clove, pineapple and coconut, or a slice of hot apple strudel-any of these would do." The narrative transports readers to the majestic, wonderful world of the ocean, filled with dolphins, small fish and odd plants. When Grayson's mother finally turns up, Cox is astounded by her size, her girth, the barnacles on her chin, the rubbery roughness of her cheek. Still, transforming the story of one afternoon into a book-length fable, even a short book-length fable, is a bit of a stretch. The tale is burdened with overwrought musings on the meaning of the time spent with Grayson: "The waiting is as important as the doing; it's the time you spend training and the rest in between; it's the painting the subject and the space in between." Nonetheless, an inspirational, almost spiritual read, perfect for gift-giving. First printing of 100,000
Booklist
Grayson is moving and thrilling in its simple language as Cox laments

the inadequacy of words to express profound feelings but demonstrates the

exhilaration of the effort.

John Grogan
“A celebration of the natural world in all its glory, and the deep and lasting effect it can have on us humans if only we pause to notice.”
—John Grogan
John Grogan
“A celebration of the natural world in all its glory, and the deep and lasting effect it can have on us humans if only we pause to notice.”
—John Grogan
From the Publisher
Praise for GRAYSON:

"Don’t believe in interspecies communication? Grayson, author Cox’s moving memoir about the lost baby whale she encountered when she was 17, just might change your mind."—People

"An account of courage and adventure artfully rendered with the joy, wonder, and suspense it deserves."—The Boston Globe

"A riveting adventure celebrating the mysterious bond between a champion swimmer and one wayward calf."—Elle

"Together [Cox and Grayson] journey to the eventual mother-and-child reunion through a fantastical world of giant ocean sunfish, bat rays with five-foot wingspans and a school of dolphins."—The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307495754
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/4/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 244,347
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lynne Cox was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Los Alamitos, California, where she still lives. Her articles have appeard in The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, among other publications.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt

One

There's something frightening, and magical, about being on the ocean, moving between the heavens and the earth, knowing that you can encounter anything on your journey.

The stars had set. The sea and sky were inky black, so black I could not see my hands pulling water in front of my face, so black there was no separation between the sea and the sky. They melted together.

It was early March and I was seventeen years old, swimming two hundred yards offshore, outside the line of breaking waves off Seal Beach, California. The water was chilly, fifty-five degrees and as smooth as black ice. And I was swimming on pace, moving at about sixty strokes per minute, etching a small silvery groove across the wide black ocean.

Usually my morning workouts started at 6 a.m., but on this day, I wanted to finish early, get home, complete my homework, and spend the day with friends, so I had begun at 5 a.m.

There were vast and silent forces swirling around me: strong water currents created by distant winds and large waves, the gravitational pull of moon and sun, and the rapid spinning of the earth. These currents were wrapping around me like long braids of soft black licorice, and I was pulling strongly with my arms, trying to slice through them.

As I swam, all I heard were the waves, rising and tumbling onto shore, the smooth rhythm of my hands splashing into the water, the breaths that I drew into my mouth and lungs, and the long gurgling of silvery bubbles rolling slowly into the sea. I slid into my pace, and I felt the water below me shudder.

It wasn't a rogue wave or a current. It felt like something else.

It was moving closer. The water was shaking harder and buckling below me.

All at once I felt very small and very alone in the deep dark sea.

Then I heard a sound. I thought it was coming from the ocean's depths.

At first it seemed to be a whisper, then it grew louder, steadily, like someone trying to shout for help but unable to get the words out. I kept swimming and trying to figure out what was happening.

The sound changed. It became stranger, like the end of a scream.

In my mind, I quickly went through a list of the ocean sounds I knew and compared them with what I was hearing. There were no matches.

The hairs on my arms were standing straight out.

Whatever it was, was moving closer.

The ocean was charged with energy. It felt uncertain and expectant, like the air just before an enormous thunderstorm. The water was electric.

Maybe that was it; maybe the water was warning of an approaching squall. Maybe energy from distant winds and torrential rains was being transmitted through the water.

I checked the sky above and the distant horizon.

Both were dull and as black as ink and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

I lifted my head to see the wave height. The shore break wasn't increasing and there weren't any wind waves. Not even dimples on the ocean's surface. There was no sign of a storm.

It didn't make sense. The energy in the water was intensifying. I felt like I was sitting on a tree branch beside a nest of angry, buzzing bumblebees.

All at once, the sea's surface erupted nearby. There was a rushing and plunking sound.

Like raindrops hitting the water. But nothing was falling from the sky. This was wrong.

Very wrong.

Out of the darkness, things were flapping into my face, flicking off my arms and head. It was like swimming through a sea of locusts, and with each impact my muscles tightened. I was tingling with fear, and all I wanted to do was to turn and sprint for shore.

But I told myself, Stay calm. You need to focus. You need to figure out what this is.

Taking a deep breath, I looked down into the deep black sea.

Thousands of baby anchovy were darting through the water like lit sparklers.

Blinded by panic, they were frantically tearing away from their schools and leaping out of the ocean like popcorn cooking on high heat. They were trying to evade something larger.

Light was exploding around me like hundreds of tiny blue flashbulbs constantly firing.

When I turned my head to breathe, something leaped into my mouth, wiggled across my tongue, and flapped between my teeth. It was larger than the water bug I once inhaled on a lake in Maine, larger than an anchovy.

Without thinking I spat it back into the sea. It had bright silver sides and was about six inches long. It was a grunion, a fish nearly twice as large as the baby anchovy. The grunion were chasing the anchovy, snatching them from the water and swallowing them whole.

More grunion were swimming in, bumping into my thighs, raking their pointy fins across my shoulders, but I smiled. The grunion had returned. Every year the grunion return to California in the spring and summer. They wait just offshore for the full moons or new moons when the tide is high, so they can swim ashore and lay their eggs. It always seems to be a miracle that they return every year and know exactly where and when to swim ashore.

A lone male grunion, a scout, swims ahead, and if the coast is clear, hundreds of female grunion follow him in, each with as many as eight male grunion swimming alongside. They choose a special wave, one that is on the receding tide so that it will carry them higher onto the beach, and the female's eggs will not be washed out to sea.

Once a female reaches the beach, she digs a hole in the sand with her tail, then wiggles back and forth, drilling herself down into the soft wet sand until she is buried all the way up to her lips. There she lays up to three thousand eggs, and one of the male grunion arches around her and releases his milt to fertilize the eggs. Then the adult grunion swim back to sea while the eggs incubate in the warm sand for ten days. Then the baby grunion hatch and ride the tide back out to sea to begin their lives in the ocean.

I loved to watch them come ashore and I loved to go grunion hunting. It was a big event in Southern California. In summer, I would meet friends on the beach on moonlit nights and wait for the grunion. We'd spread our large bright-striped beach blankets on a berm, at the crest in the beach, beyond the reach of the incoming waves. We'd sit wrapped up in more warm woolly blankets, sometimes alone, or sometimes snuggled up with friends to stave off the cool, damp swirling ocean breezes. We'd talk, in muffled tones so no one would scare the fish away, about boyfriends and girlfriends, about summer plans and BBQs, about our lives and our families, our dreams and how we felt. We'd explore our lives, and sometimes touch hands under the blanket. We, too, were restless, awaiting our own high tide.

Someone in our group would whisper excitedly, "There he is!"

We'd jump to our feet, scanning the beach for a single fish. When we spotted one flopping on the sand, we'd watch and wait for what seemed like forever. Then a few minutes later, a wave would lift hundreds of grunion up. This wave would be so heavily laden with fish, it would rise more slowly than any other. As it curled, its dark glassy face would be altered by hundreds of grunion heads and tails protruding at all angles.

The wave would crash onshore and the grunion would spin and tumble across the sand, flipping, flopping, and pulling themselves beyond the water's edge. Their gills would beat in and out as they gasped for air. It seemed amazing to me that they could hold their breath for two or three minutes, and that they had to leave the sea and return to shore to continue the cycle of life. In utter fascination we'd watch this dance.

As soon as the grunion finished laying their eggs, they'd flip and flop back toward the water, and at that moment we'd charge across the sand, kicking mud on the backs of our legs and trying to scoop the grunion up with our bare hands.

They were always slippery, squirmy, and quick and harder to hold on to than a warm cube of butter. My friends and I might catch a few grunion, but none of us had the heart to take them home and cook them with a dusting of cornmeal and eat them as some people did. Somehow that would have spoiled the magic of all that we had witnessed. We were happy to catch them in our hands, feel the pulse of life racing through their bodies, and release them back into the warm salty waves.

As I swam I felt a strong connection with the agile schools of grunion and I thought I was lucky to be swimming with them—until I realized that they were attracting a small school of albacore tuna.

Usually the tuna lived and migrated twenty miles or more off the coast, but the abundance of food had lured them in. Albacore tuna are large fish. They weigh between twenty and forty pounds. They are shaped like giant oval beech leaves and have dark blue backs and gray-blue sides and bellies. They are very fast swimmers: they swim as if they are turbocharged.

At first I enjoyed feeling the way the water wavered and yawed as the tuna zipped to the right and left of me. But when they started leaping out of the water to catch the grunion, I grew concerned. I didn't want to be hit by a forty-pound tuna. I pulled to the right and then off to the left, but they were everywhere.

Then it happened. A big tuna weighing maybe twenty-five pounds rocketed out of the water. He smacked into my back and I jumped very high. Then another bounced off my shoulders. I started giggling. I had to roll on my side and catch my breath. It was raining tuna. What a weird, wild, and wonderful thing.

It occurred to me that these tuna would probably attract larger fish and the only larger fish I could think of were sharks. So I decided to move closer to shore, away from the feeding throngs. As I got nearer to land I started watching what was happening in the homes on the north side of the pier.

People were starting to get up. Second-floor windows that had been dark gray and vacant were becoming large glowing squares of gold, and as the people moved into their bathrooms and then downstairs more windows became gold squares. I imagined how warm it must be inside those homes. I let my mind enfold me in that golden warmth.

I was cold. The Pacific water temperature in March is in the mid-fifties; the surrounding water was constantly pulling heat from my body. It was like being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a snowy day and then having someone pull the blanket off. To overcome the heat loss, I had to swim at a rate fast enough to create heat, but still my skin always felt cold; it was as cold as the water. I could feel the cold working its way deep into my muscles.

An offshore breeze carried the warm sweet smells of smoky bacon and fried eggs, buttery pancakes, and the rich acidic aroma of brewing coffee across the water. I had been swimming for more than an hour and my stomach was grumbling loudly. All I had to do was reach the north jetty, turn around, and swim the last half mile back to the pier and then I'd be finished with my workout.

I was starting to relax, stretching out my arms, feeling my hands and arms pulling the thick water, feeling the rotation of my shoulders and core, and the light kick of my feet. My body was slipping through the water like silk sliding across ultrasmooth skin. My breaths were long and easy, and I felt good: I was back into my pace, moving with the flow of all creation. Everything was in sync, the currents flowing around me, the song of the ocean, the breeze—except everything below was strangely still.

All the fish had disappeared.

Lifting my head, I looked to my right and then to my left. I couldn't see anything. I put my face back down, and stared into the water through clear goggles. It was like looking into a well at midnight. I couldn't see anything, but I knew something was there.

The water began shaking harder than before and I was being churned up and down as if I was swimming through a giant washing machine. The water shifted, and I was riding on the top of a massive bubble. It was moving directly up from below, putting out a high-energy vibration. I felt like there was a spaceship moving right below me. I had never felt anything this big in the water before.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2008

    A reviewer

    The book Grayson by Lynne Cox is a nonfiction story of a teenage Cox. She is alone in the ocean on one of her early morning swimming workouts when she finds a baby whale swimming alongside her lost from its mother. Her friend Steve is waving to her from the pier when she is finishing her workout and informs her that there is baby whale following her and she cannot swim ashore. She realizes soon that it is up to her to find the baby whale¿s mother in the vast ocean or it will die. This is a story about the bond that can be formed even between the most different creatures. This is proved when a magical friendship is created between Lynne and the baby whale. Along with the whale, Cox comes across many amazing and vivid creatures such as dolphins, stingrays, crabs, coral, every different type and color of fish and much more as she explore the deep ocean with the baby. This was a very entertaining sweet book that I would recommend to animal and ocean lovers of all ages. In this story, Lynne Cox spends much of the book talking about the ocean and gives many of her own aspects of the large mass of water. She describes it as scary, mysterious, large, wondrous, beautiful and much more. I very much enjoyed this part of the book because, as a woman who has spent much of her life in the ocean, her perspective of it was very interesting. In the book, Cox is left with a very difficult situation where it is up to her to make the decsision. She cannot swim ashore because the whale, she names him Grayson, will follow and he will run into the ground, his lungs will collapse, and he will die. She also cannot leave it alone or it will die of thirst without its mother¿s milk. Lynne must stay in the ocean with the whale and for hours freezing, hungry, and scared. Throughout the book, Grayson is described like a human child, which brought up memories that most human children have. Being lost in the grocery store or department store from their mother. Being frightened and confused, trying not to panic but mostly not succeeding until a nice lady helps you out. This story reminds us that it happens to everyone, and even happens to whales. I have been strongly affected by the message sent by this book. It teaches the reader to respect everyone and all creatures that you come across because who knows what magnificent adventures could be coming in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Fun True Story

    Grayson turned out to be a great book. It is hard to believe it is based on a true story. A courageous 17 year old girl was able to help a baby whale find his mother after a 4 hour long swim in the ocean. The connection this author had with a baby whale and mother whale makes a unique and exciting story. It is a great book if you love nature too, because of the connection and energy between humans and these amazing animals. Not to mention her whole swim was filled with nature from sea creatures to the gorgeous area of LA/ Catalina Island, California. I loved this authors journey and this book will sweep you away on an exciting ocean adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2008

    easy and fun read

    I could not put this book down. Lynne is a fantastic writer and she certainly knows how to bring the reader into the book and make you feel as if you are right by her side. The thought of swimming for 4 hrs in the ocean with a whale by me well, just thinking about it gives me anxiety, but for Lynne it was an experience of a lifetime that she welcomed with open arms. She has a true gift not only with swimming, but being able to become one with the ocean and all that live in it. I can't wait for her next publication.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2006

    Could have been so much more ...

    A great story, but it could have been told in half the pages and with much more eloquence. It dragged on much too long and, while there was indeed a good message here, the repeated delivery of that message lacked sublety, which would have been much more effective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    GRAYSON may be the book I recommend most often. It's a beautiful

    GRAYSON may be the book I recommend most often. It's a beautiful, true story of mother love, interspecies concern and communication, and describes Lynne's surrounding life in the ocean so vividly. It's one of the few books that can speak to a wide swath of readers, from children through animal behavior professionals.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    My entire family loved this book! Lynne has given us a gift of sharing her journey with Grayson. The details pull you in from begining to end. Within moments, you'll feel like you're swimming next to Lynne!

    My daughter is a young swimmer and for her birthday we held a swim party and gave Lynne's book to all party goers. Many of the family's shared that it was a welcome addition to their library. Buy it, give it, share it...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book!

    There were many positives and negatives in this book. For example, I really liked
    the long, descriptive sentences. Also, I thought that the appearance of the book was
    very beautiful, from the outside pictures, to the text. The last positive that I can think of
    now is that it was a very amazing story, and it shows lots of feeling. Some of the
    negatives included ow it loses excitement and the urgency of finding the mom by de
    scribing too much. Also, I know that since it was a true story, and I can't really change
    the plot, but I thought that it was kind of weird that Lynne wasn't monitored as much as
    she should have been in such a dangerous situation. Lastly, I thought that the book was
    very interesting, but if it were shorter, it would have been more exciting and would have
    kept my interest more.
    Many authors have their own writing styles. The author, Lynne Cox, has many
    things that make up her own writing style. First of all, she has very long sentences with
    descriptive words. One sentence that shows this says, "There's something frightening,
    and magical, about being in the ocean, moving between the heavens and the earth,
    knowing that you can encounter anything on your journey." Also, Cox uses lots of flash
    backs in her writing. One of her flashbacks was about the grunion mating, and how she
    and her friends would sit and wait all night for the grunion to come out to the beach and
    breed. Lastly, Lynne Cox writes using the first-person, which is when she says "I did. . ."
    instead of "Lynne did. . .". Those are some of the topics that make up Lynne Cox's
    writing style.
    I would recommend this book for many reasons. First, it was a very true story
    that was short, but it had many details that made it seem longer than it actually was.
    Also, it could be an adult, or a children's book because it was very mature, yet easy to
    read at the same time. Lastly, this book's appearance was magnificent, because it has a
    very intriguing cover and very interesting pages. Some similar novels that I would rec
    commend include Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Green Glass Sea by Ellen
    Klages, and Hawke by Ted Belle. Other good books that I have read are Lock and Key
    by Sarah Dessen, The Canterwood Crest Series by Jessica Burkhart, and Each Little
    Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles. Lock and Key, by Sarah Dessen, is about a girl
    named Ruby who goes to live with her sister (Who was once her best friend) after her
    mother left her. The Canterwood Crest Series is about a girl named Sasha Silver who
    starts out 7th grade at a private school called Canterwood Crest and is on the horse
    back riding team there. Each Little Bird That Sings is about Comfort Snowberger, a girl
    who's family own a funeral home, and all of her adventures with her family.

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  • Posted March 28, 2009

    Wonderfully touching story about the magic of being one with all life. A real winner!!

    Wow! What an absolutely wonderful story about a woman of great courage and her openness to the magic that exists when we love and when we are willing to sacrifice and risk for another life....in this case the life of a baby whale. Having experienced the majesty of these great beasts in my own life, I can't help but want to share this book with others.

    If you want to believe in magic in the wonders of nature, this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    It was Okay

    I love animals and stories that describe them in personal detail. This story's high points came from some well-written descriptions of various sea life, and a strong visual imagery. I would have to say the book's downfall was from the same thing - as in, it could have been wrapped up in a neater package. I appreciate the description of swimming through frigid water spread out among two or three pages. By the 10th page of the same description, I was bored. There are some 'life lessons' thrown in which were uplifting, but could have been with more subtely. Some lines actually say things like 'Sometimes you just have to push yourself to discover what you never knew was there' and the like. Good message, but why say it in so many words? Those moments went from a great story where the reader figures out the lessons, to blatently spelling them out for you in a sort of Self-Helpy way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    More than just a story about a whale

    Grayson is a light-hearted, fast read that I found amusing, educational and inspiring. The amazing story of the author's encounter with a lost baby whale is encouraging and filled with interesting facts as well as brief segues into philosophy and useful aphorisms for life and love. If you have a taste for true stories, nature - specifically the ocean and it's magnificent creatures - and warm (yet not schmaltzy) maxims and lessons on life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    A Whale of a Miracle

    Told in a simple yet compelling style, Grayson is Lynne Cox¿s telling of an adventure that occurred when she was on an early morning training swim off the coast of Seal Beach, California at the age of seventeen. That Grayson is already in its second printing in August, 2006, is s testament to its universal appeal. In it Lynne describes her young life, the people in it, her beliefs, and descriptions of the ocean and its denizens as she encountered them. Eventually she comes to realize that a baby gray whale had become separated from his mother is following her. Her friend Steve waves her back from shore, telling her that the baby is following her and will follow her to shore if she swims in. Thus begins the story to keep Grayson alive and well until his mother comes to find him. Throughout the morning, the boaters, fishermen, and Long Beach lifeguards help them stay afloat and in good spirits. Like Lynn, you are caught up in the moment and her intense desire to keep Grayson alive. In retrospect she writes, 'Sometimes for a moment or two I feel something in the water, a sudden stirring, a high energy force like the morning Grayson swam with me, and I watch the whales swimming effortlessly across the water, beauty in motion, heading for the distant horizon.¿ This is a miraculous story that bears rereading over and over again. Animal lovers of all ages will love this book. It would make a terrific gift for a young person who loves animals and is learning the miracle of the written word, first as a read aloud, then for independent reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2006

    Giving to everyone for Christmas!

    This is truly a magical book for the whole family. I read this tiny book in one night and then read it aloud to my 5 and 7 year olds who loved it too. It's by no means a literary classic, but it's a great book none the less. The aquatic animals alone make this a keeper!I am giving this book to all my friends this holiday because of it's warm loving message. One of the best I've read in a long time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2006

    A Timeless Masterpiece for Readers of All Ages

    Lynn Cox has written a timeless masterpiece in this brilliantly written story of the unexpected ocean journey she found herself on one early dark morning in Southern California. Accompanied with 'Grayson', an orphaned baby gray whale lost from its migrating mother off the coast of California's Seal Beach, Lynn Cox takes the reader onto a most exhilarating oceanic adventure in search of the orphaned whale's nursing mother. As the reader journey's through the pages and the dark crisp water of the Pacific, you find yourself on your own odyssey - listening, feeling, and understanding what it is to trust yourself no matter what the circumstances life hands you are. With each powerful and purposeful stroke of Lynn's arm cutting into the water, you are reminded of the strength of your own will and capability. And as the sun cuts thru the early morning darkness and the journey to find Grayson's mother continues, we are all reminded that sense of will and purpose is boundless. I found the metaphor and imagery used in this joyfully wonderful true-life adventure to be so vivid and sharp and pulsating that I can't recommend this wonderful story enough to readers of all ages . . . and if you know someone who is not a person who dives into a good story - Grayson is as good a book as any I have ever read - and a great place for any potential reader to begin in reacquainting themselves with the wonderment of reading and the imagination, and perhaps a re-visit with themselves. `Grayson' is a timeless masterpiece I have read and re-read. From one author to another, I would like to thank Lynn for, after all these years, sharing with all of us the adventures of that magical day you were blessed with on Seal Beach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2006

    Moving and uplifting

    What a beautiful story! I bought this book as a B&N coupon advertisment. I love whales and have always dreamed of swimming with orca in the wild before I die. This book shows a glimpse of a relationship between a young girl who befriends a baby whale that has lost his mother. Such courage and determination is shown between these two unlikely friends. Ms Cox retells an experience she had at the age of 17 when practicing for her Anartica swim. She writes with such vivid emotion recounting the experience that changed her outlook forever. I felt her fear and the feeling she felt for the baby whale. I saw through her eyes the vivid imagery she depicted. In the end, I shared tears of emotion. I also appreciated the way she used her real life story to relate to every day life. I would highly recommend this book...just to feel good and open yourself to a bigger world beyond yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2006

    Uplifting and mysterious

    This simple story is uplifting and touching, and reading it is like taking a little vacation. The story moves along slowly and deliberately, insisting that you enjoy the delightful descriptions of nature and solitude as you read. While this real-life parable doesn't take itself too seriously, Cox pauses along the way to reflect on the universal wisdom this one extraordinary event--a chance meeting with a forlorn baby whale--has left her with. This story is truly remarkable in the way it shows the gentle lessons that can be taught by the world's most powerful mystery: nature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2006

    Could have been great...

    This writer experienced something truly unique, but she was not able to convey the beauty of the event to the reader. I was extremely disappointed by the poor writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Nice subject, terrible writing

    The story was charming--or would have been if it had been a 12-page short story written by someone with a flare for language. The writer intends to be poetic as she waxes on about nature, but her language and ideas are trite and redundant, there to fill up pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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