A gorgeously written standalone from the acclaimed author of The Last Bear, Hannah Gold’s second novel is a touching story about adventure, recovery, and love—perfect for fans of Pax and A Wolf Called Wander.
When Rio is sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, he feels completely alone. Then he makes a new friend on the foggy beach—a girl named Marina, who teaches him about the massive grey whales that migrate nearby.
As Rio grows to love the whales, he discovers that his mother loved them, too. He’s suddenly sure that if he can somehow find a way to connect her with these gentle giants – and especially with a particular whale named White Beak – she will get better and come to join him in California. But White Beak is missing—and Rio must embark on a desperate journey across the dangerous ocean to find her.
An excellent choice for readers in grades 3 to 7, this fierce celebration of friendship includes information about the struggles facing real gray whales from climate change, pollution, and over-fishing.
Hannah Gold grew up in a family where books, animals, and the beauty of the outside world were ever present, and is passionate about writing stories that share her love of the planet. She now lives in the UK with her tortoise, her cat, and her husband and, when not writing, is busy hunting for her next big animal story as well as practicing her roar. The Last Bear is her debut novel.
"This superb story captures the power and mystery of the ocean as well as delivering bite-size morsels of climate change advocacy. Poignant and empowering." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"I loved sailing along this quest with Rio, a character with an abundance of determination and empathy. Full of wonder and longing, The Lost Whale is a captivating story about the desperate search for one special whale who offers a connection to home." — Lynne Kelly, author of Song For a Whale
"The Lost Whale is filled with wonder, fascinating facts and a main character with a heart as a big as a whale. You won’t want to miss it." — Annabel Steadman, author of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
Praise for The Last Bear: "Fans of Pax will appreciate this endearing story of interspecies friendship." — Publishers Weekly
“For animal lovers, defenders of the environment, and fans of female-powered stories. Touching and poignant.” — Kirkus Reviews
"Gold has an ear for descriptive language, and the close narration of April's story keeps readers intimately engaged. The book's environmental message is clear without being overpowering, and the combination of internal and external conflicts allows the story to be quiet and dramatic at the same time." — Horn Book Magazine
"A bold, unapologetic look into the devastating effects of climate change and its impact on wildlife." — School Library Journal
“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” — Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse