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One White Dolphin
     

One White Dolphin

4.6 27
by Gill Lewis, Raquel Aparicio (Illustrator)
 

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A mother dolphin and her albino calf are in peril in this heart-pounding adventure from the author of the acclaimed ecological novel Wild Wings.

Kara is not sorry she punched Jake in the nose—she simply couldn’t stand to hear him say one more nasty thing about her missing mother, or her out-of-work father…or her. But it’s

Overview

A mother dolphin and her albino calf are in peril in this heart-pounding adventure from the author of the acclaimed ecological novel Wild Wings.

Kara is not sorry she punched Jake in the nose—she simply couldn’t stand to hear him say one more nasty thing about her missing mother, or her out-of-work father…or her. But it’s more than a broken nose to Jake’s family: It’s fuel for the fire. They’ve had it with Kara’s family and their devotion to protecting marine life and saving the reef. Dredging the reef will mean fisherman can reel in more money. That’s what the town needs.

But what the town gets is an unexpected new kid, a Paralympics sailing hopeful named Felix. When a baby albino dolphin caught in old fishing netting washes ashore, Felix and Kara work with vets and specialists to save her and reunite her with her mother, setting off a chain of events that might just save the reef.

Written by a veterinarian and brimming with bravery and beauty, this “poignant and satisfying story about acting for the greater good” (Publishers Weekly) taps into the radiance of nature and dives into the important, timely issue of environmental protection and ecology.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Her father. Their boat. Her love of the sea. That is about all Kara Wood has left. Since her mother's disappearance a year ago, the family has struggled with mounting debt. The pressure rises when classmate Jake Evans mouths off about Kara's folks. The long-standing feud between the families has new fire, and soon Jake's dad Dougie is after the Woods family with gusto. He tears apart their lobster traps, and sends the trawlers out to harvest scallops from the reef—sure to destroy the fishing town's ecosystem. There seems little hope of avoiding this, until Kara meets Felix. He falls in love with the sea the same way Kara has, and he thinks they can thwart Dougie's destructive scheme. When a rare albino dolphin youngster washes up on shore, tangled in fishing nets, Kara and Felix lead the effort to help the sea creature and reunite it with its mother. The action never breaks in this heartfelt, high-pressure tale. Kara's sense of longing and loss, and her healing through the love of family and community, are mirrored in the dolphin's tale. Although the various story threads are tied up almost too quickly at the end, this is a fast-paced, lovely tale of family and strength. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
Publishers Weekly
A fishing village in Cornwall, England, provides the setting for this multilayered drama. Kara and her father are struggling to make ends meet a year after Kara's mother's disappearance on a dolphin-saving expedition. Insecure employment and housing, an imminent lift on a 10-year ban on seabed dredging, and Kara's father's efforts to sell the family sailboat make Kara repeatedly feel the loss of her mother. Her discovery of a young albino dolphin caught in a fishing net heightens the community's tense debate over the seabed's fate. Lewis (Wild Wings) captures the complexities of communal living, creating fully realized personalities with opposing needs and values. Disabilities subtly inform character; for example, Kara and her father's dyslexia challenges them in school and work, while her friend Felix's cerebral palsy gives him divergent abilities on land and sea. A sense of moral urgency counters the characters' depression and helplessness, resulting in a poignant and satisfying story about acting for the greater good. Quietly enhancing the story are Aparicio's ornate pencil and India ink il-lustrations, which call to mind traditional Japanese paintings. Ages 8–12. Agent: Victoria Birkett, Miles Stott Children's Literary Agency. (June)
From the Publisher
"A satisfying stranded-dolphin rehabilitation and an edge-of-your-seat sailboat rescue.... [Lewis] evokes the natural world beautifully, with compelling descriptions of the surprising undersea and shoreline wonders that support the strong environmental message."--Kirkus Reviews

* "This life-affirming novel gets its depth from well-drawn, supportive characters such as Kara's father, her cousin Daisy, and Felix, a new boy who has cerebral palsy. But the satisfying climax and believable ending come about because of Kara's indomitable and generous spirit."--Shelf Awareness, starred review

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—A year after her mother disappeared while working for an organization trying to stop the capture of dolphins for theme parks, Kara Woods still refuses to acknowledge that she won't return. Her frustration and anger intensify when she learns that in order to pay his debts, her father needs to sell the sailboat her parents rebuilt. Kara lashes out against Jake Evans, whose father employs most of the men in town to fish on his boats and who intends to dredge the coral reefs her mother tried to protect. She finds an unexpected ally in Felix, whose family moved to Cornwall from London. Despite having cerebral palsy, he quickly develops into an accomplished sailor in a specially equipped boat. After a white baby dolphin washes ashore badly hurt from getting tangled in fishing net, Kara and Felix help in its rescue. The resulting media attention brings crowds who might help stop the dredging. But can local residents afford to support conservation efforts when they could lose their jobs by opposing Evans? When the youngsters save Jake's life in a dramatic sea rescue, he realizes that short-term financial gains cannot compensate for environmental destruction that compromises the community's long-term future. Lewis smoothly incorporates information about threats to dolphins and other ocean life without slowing the pace. Tension between economic realities and environmental goals raises interesting issues to discuss. Kara's and Felix's flaws and strengths make them credible protagonists who demonstrate courage and skill in bringing the conflict to a satisfying resolution.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
A boy with cerebral palsy and an injured albino dolphin calf help Kara Wood come to terms with her mother's death and the sale of the family's boat, Moana. Kara's mother vanished a year ago on a dolphin-saving trip to the South Pacific. With debts mounting, her father plans to sell the sailboat they built and that he has used to tend their lobster pots. The temporary protection of the reef near their British coastal home is about to expire, and local fishing-fleet owner Dougie Evans is looking forward to dredging for scallops again--destroying an environment that Kara loves. Setting up this situation and bringing dyslexic Kara together with Felix Andersen, a computer-savvy boy who doesn't let a useless arm and slight limp get in his way, takes nearly half the narrative. Readers who persevere will be rewarded with a satisfying stranded-dolphin rehabilitation and an edge-of-your-seat sailboat rescue. Lewis complicates her plot with distracting details, including the family vendetta that makes Evans' ultimate change of heart less than convincing. But she evokes the natural world beautifully, with compelling descriptions of the surprising undersea and shoreline wonders that support the strong environmental message. Readers captivated by Wild Wings (2011) may find this less engaging but will certainly be hoping for more books from Lewis in the future. (Fiction. 9-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442414488
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
338
Sales rank:
316,349
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

1

I rip another page from the book.

I tear it out, right out.

The paper is tissue thin and edged with gold. It flutters in my hand like a tiny bird, desperate to escape. I let it go and watch it fly up into the clear, blue sky.

I rip out another, and another. The pages soar and tumble across cow-scattered fields into the haze above the silver blue sea.

“Oi, Kara!”

I look down. Jake’s pink face is squinting up at me against the glare of sun. Ethan’s standing next to him, trying to find fingerholds in the granite blocks of the wall. He jumps to pull me off, but I pull my legs up out of reach.

The wall’s too high.

I’m safe up here.

“Kara-Two-Planks!” yells Jake. “Teacher’s looking for you.”

I run my finger along the rough leather binding of the book. It’s heavy in my lap. The hard edges dig into my skin. I rip out another page and set it free, soaring upward, skyward.

“You’re in big trouble, Kara-Two-Planks!” shouts Jake. “That Bible is school property. You’ll be sent to hell for that.”

“She won’t get there, though,” calls Ethan. “She won’t be able to read the signs.”

Jake laughs. “Learn to spell your name yet, Kara? K-a-r-a W-o-o-d. Kara-Thick-as-Two-Planks-of-Wood.”

I’ve heard all this before, a thousand times. I turn my back on them and look down to the footpath on the far side of the wall. It runs one way to the coast path along the cliffs, and the other, down steps tangled with nettles and bindweed to the harbor in the town below.

“What I want to know,” says Ethan, “is Kara Wood as thick as her dad?”

“My mum says,” confides Jake, “that Kara’s dad lost his last job because he couldn’t write his own name.”

Ethan sniggers.

I spin around and glare at them. “Shut up about my dad.”

But Jake’s not finished. “I heard your mum had to write his name for him. Isn’t that right, Kara?”

My eyes burn hot with tears.

“Who writes his name for him now, Kara?”

I blink hard and turn back to the sea. The waves out there are tipped with white. I feel the hot sun on my face. I mustn’t cry. I won’t let them see me cry. If I ignore them, they’ll go away like they always do. The sea breeze is damp and salty. It catches the white cotton of my shirt and billows it out like a spinnaker sail. I close my eyes and imagine I am sailing across an endless sea, a wide, blue ocean, with nothing else around me but the sun and wind and sky.

“Oi, Kara!”

Jake’s still there.

“It’s a shame about the Merry Mermaid!” he shouts.

If Jake knows about the Merry Mermaid, then everyone does.

I turn around to look at him.

A few other children from class are watching us from a distance. Chloe and Ella are both looking this way from under the deep shade of the horse chestnut tree. Adam has stopped his game, his soccer ball clutched against his chest.

“Still,” Jake says, “it never was much of a pub. It’ll make a great holiday home for someone, a rich Londoner probably. I heard the food was terrible.”

Jake knows my dad works in the kitchens of the Merry Mermaid. He knows he’ll have no job and no money to live on when it closes at the end of the summer. Jake would love it if we had to move from Cornwall.

“Maybe your dad can come back and work for mine on our trawlers?” says Jake. “Tell your dad we’ll be fishing for shellfish when the dredging ban is lifted in ten days’ time. Dad’s even bought new gear to rake every corner of the seabed out there. He can’t wait.”

I just glare at him.

Jake laughs. “I’ll ask him if you can come too.”

I tighten my grip on the Bible’s hard leather binding.

Beyond, I see Mrs. Carter striding toward us. I could try and hide the book, but Jake and Ethan would tell her anyway.

“Have you seen the advertisement at the boatyard, Kara?” asks Jake. He’s looking at me now and grinning. Ethan’s grinning too. They know something I don’t. It’s in Jake’s voice, and he’s bursting to tell me.

Mrs. Carter’s halfway across the playground. Her face is set and grim.

“The Moana’s up for sale!” Jake shouts out. He’s jubilant now.

I scramble to my feet. “Liar!”

It can’t be true. I’m sure it can’t.

But Jake is smug. He pulls his trump card. “My dad’s going to buy her and chop her up for firewood!” he shouts. “’Cause he says that’s all she’s good for.”

I hurl the book at him. The Bible’s hard edge slams into Jake’s nose and he drops like a stone, both hands clutched across his face.

Mrs. Carter is running now. “Kara!”

I glance down at Jake, moaning in the dirt below me.

“Kara, come down now!” Mrs. Carter yells.

But I turn away from them all and jump, leaving Jake Evans bleeding through his fat fingers, turning the dust-dry ground blood red.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A satisfying stranded-dolphin rehabilitation and an edge-of-your-seat sailboat rescue.... [Lewis] evokes the natural world beautifully, with compelling descriptions of the surprising undersea and shoreline wonders that support the strong environmental message."—Kirkus Reviews

* "This life-affirming novel gets its depth from well-drawn, supportive characters such as Kara's father, her cousin Daisy, and Felix, a new boy who has cerebral palsy. But the satisfying climax and believable ending come about because of Kara's indomitable and generous spirit."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

Meet the Author

Gill Lewis is the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Wings and One White Dolphin, both winners of the Green Earth Book Award, as well as Moon Bear and Gorilla Dawn. A veterinarian, her love of animals and the natural world plays a big part in her writing. She lives in the UK.

Raquel Aparicio was born in Avila, Spain, with her twin sister Sae. After spending a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland, she moved to Spain to study illustration and then to Florida where she attended the Illustration Academy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, and others. She has taught collage illustration workshops at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, and her work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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One White Dolphin 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dudes and dudetts need to get this book. It is the best book ever! Wild Wings is another great book. Must read this book, especially if you love nature. GET THIS BOOK NOW. AMAZING! COOL! SWEET! AWSOME! FAR OUT! GET IT! READ ME!
Bokkies More than 1 year ago
The book White dolphin is about a young girl named Kara, her life, and her struggles against Jake and his friends. Jake and his friend think they are better than her, and tease her when they can. Jake is very snobby. Kara and her father struggles to live off of a low salary after her mother disappears mysteriously. The moral is even if you go through difficult things, everything will turn out great. White dolphin is an easy to read and follow book with a few pictures. It is still detailed and easily paints vivid pictures in your mind. Kara is a young girl living with her family. She meets a new friend and discovers what happened the night of her mother’s disappearance. Her mother put up a dredging ban that was due to be removed in a couple days. Kara tries to keep the dredging ban up. Kara meets Felix who moved into town, he becomes an important part in the plot. She finds a white dolphin stuck in fishing lines that washed up. She calls her mother’s friend Carl, who is a marine biologist like Kara’s mother, to save the dolphin. She later sails with Felix after Jake and his friend Evan to try to call them back. There was a huge storm coming, but they get caught in the storm. The ending covers everything and makes you think. White Dolphin is very simplistic, yet detailed. The author Gill Lewis captures your attention and leaves you wondering what will happen next. The problems for Kara is very life like. White dolphin captures the ups and downs in Kara’s life from her perspective. I would recommend this book for all ages. The characters are very well constructed. The description of the world around her is very vivid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It is so heartwarming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purshased this book at my school book fair when i began reading it i did not like it that well but kept reading it i fell in love i read it in between classes and i cant put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so far. I'm on chapter25 and page 217. This book has emotions dolphins and there are two main dolphins they are extremely cool and one gets injured so the question is "Will Kara,her cousin Daisy,the vet,recue team,and the friend Felix be able to save the dolphin???" :) Great book so far I recommand it to people who love animals or dolphins if you do you should read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thhis book the auther is very crative in her writing. If you like dolphins and sad stories than this is the book for you. Also tje age is like 9 years old because of what they say!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A super great book. Leaving you with suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the book in real life! I give this book 5 stars. I would give this book a millon stars if I could! Listen to me, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -CBN : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my fav book written by a my fav author you have to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a verry good book so far you should read it!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg thus book is so tuching
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the book at home and one of my friends has the book. I have not read the book yet but I have started the book. Someone tell me if I should get it on here. Pleas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has some sad parts but thats what makes it good!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book but the ending left me feeling somewhat unsatisfyed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm just 11 years old and I loved this book. It was awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!!! I loved it and i am 9 years old , it is definitley recomended for kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only have read the preview of the book and completely love it.????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the paper bacck book. Its awsome. If you dont think yall like think again. And tell me how yall think of it now. I aint no lier
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so great! Most childeren will like this,and this book will enjoy you, im tellen ya! Hope this will be helpful!