cover image Water Sky

Water Sky

Jean Craighead George. HarperCollins Publishers, $13 (212pp) ISBN 978-0-06-022198-0

The exceptional powers of observation and description that George has displayed in her many nature books are also at work in this story about a small group of Eskimos and the bowhead whale they call Nukik. Lincoln Stonewright, the descendant of a Yankee whaling captain, has journeyed from home to Barrow, Alaska, to find his uncle. His wholehearted involvement in the landing of the whale changes him deeply, teaching him to think and act more like a traditional Eskimo. This is a complex adventure story with interesting characters, a dramatic natural setting and significant themes about environmental preservation and cultural conflict. As with the author's earlier My Side of the Mountain, readers may be most impressed by what a young, modern hero in the wild can learn to do. (11-up)