One White Dolphin

Gill Lewis, illus. by Raquel Aparicio. S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1447-1
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)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4424-1450-1
Prebound-Glued - 338 pages - 978-1-62765-402-9
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-1-4424-1448-8
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