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The Lost Whale

"An incredible, empathetic, powerful story that engages with ecological and family themes "

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

April 2022 Book of the Month

Rio is sent to stay with his grandmother in California whilst his Mum is hospitalised back home in the UK. Unfortunately, Rio only met his grandmother 5 years ago so knows little about her or about the area she lives in the US.

Grandmother Fran lives by the Pacific Ocean – so life becomes punctuated by the sound of the sea and waves breaking on the shore. Rio feels totally alone, away from friends and his usual surroundings. That is, until he meets Marina by chance on the harbour. Marina and her dad, Birch, live on a boat and run whale spotting trips for tourists. It is this and the finding of his Mum’s ‘treasure’ box that contains drawings of whales, and especially one who somehow seems to draw Rio in – an individual named White Beak – that helps give Rio a focus and a way back from feeling adrift.

The story is totally engrossing – once I started reading I had to read it in one go! Gold writes about animal adventures in a completely natural way, combining lots of information with a strong story line and characters which evoke our empathy. It’s a story you can literally dive into, enjoying the vicarious thrills of spotting – and along the way – saving grey whales.

As I read a proof copy I had no chance to see the illustrations from award winning illustrator Levi Pinfold – but, if the author/illustrator pairing is even half as good as Gold’s previous novel The Last Bear, then we are in for an absolute treat!

A read that appeals to anyone interested in ecological themes.

Tricia Adams

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An absolutely beautiful story of love, loss, hope and passion told through the eyes of the young, the determined, those who know change must happen.

An absolutely beautiful story of love, loss, hope and passion told through the eyes of the young, the determined, those who know change must happen. Rio tells his story and shares his pain whilst living with his mum and her mental health issues. But a change must come. So by moving to California to live with his grandmother, Rio learns of the horrifying effects of human activity that is threatening our planet alongside his own bravery to find his own strength to strive for change. Rio takes us on a wonderful adventure to save ‘White Beak’ whilst saving himself from the guilt and heartfelt loss of being away from his mum and his home.
Thank you Hannah for representing mental health within families and it’s effects on everyone, those suffering with it and those who suffer because of it.... Read Full Review