The Lost Whale by Hannah Gold

Publication Date: 31 March 2022

The Blurb

What if you could communicate with a whale?

Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his mum is in hospital back home. Alone and adrift, the only thing that makes him smile is joining his new friend Marina on her dad’s whale watching trips. That is until an incredible encounter with White Beak, a gentle giant of the sea changes everything. But when White Beak goes missing, Rio must set out on a desperate quest to find his whale and somehow save his mum.

Cover and internal illustrations by Levi Pinfold

The Review

Having loved The Last Bear, I was delighted to receive and early copy of The Lost Whale, and dove straight in.

An atmospheric read full of raw emotion, with the ocean as it’s soundtrack, where empathy & ecology swim side by side in this gripping tale of self-discovery & healing.

Rio is hurt, angry and confused when we meet him at the airport, and he is as spikey as the first hug with his grandmother that does nothing to improve his mood. Watching him isolate himself from her as he struggles to accept the situation he finds himself in is utterly heart-wrenching, but seeing his tentative friendship with Marina grow give us the first flickers of hope for this lost and lonely boy.

As he learns more about his mother’s childhood in Ocean Bay, he comes up with a plan to save her – a plan involving finding her whale, and it is the first time he goes out on a whale watching boat that we truly see him relax. When things don’t turn out as originally planned with his mum, and their whale goes missing, we see him entwine their two fates and set out on a journey to save them. The raw emotion is as all encompassing as the ocean he sets sail on.

The whales and the ocean are the true heroes of this story – their power, grace and fragility shining through as more than just the setting for this thrilling adventure.

The Lost Whale is of those books that I wish I could read again for the first time, preferably on a boat with the sun shining down, and the hope of a visitor or two to blow a heart rainbow nearby. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy and feast on Levi Pinfold’s illustrations.

At the end of the book, there are plenty of links to organisations to find out how you can help protect our oceans and the creatures that live in them, and links to organisations that help with mental health and wellbeing.

Great for fans of:

  • Melt by Ele Fountain
  • Scarlett Ibis by Gill Lewis
  • Pax by Sarah Pennypacker and Jon Klassen

Huge thanks to Harper Collins for sending me an early review copy.