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Kellerhals-Stewart, Heather.

Winlaw (B.C.), Polestar Press. 1988. 144pp, paper, $7.95. ISBN 0-919591-30-2. CIP

Grades 3 to 7/Ages 8 to 12
Reviewed by Mollie Hooper

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

Heather Kellerhals-Stewart is a well-known children's author, some of whose books are Muktu, the Backward Ox,' Cricket Christmas." and She Shoots! She Scores! {Women's Press, 1975). She is a naturalist with a keen interest in whales who lives on Quadra Island. This background helps give her current book, The Whales Way, a feeling of realism even though it is part fantasy.

Two very unlikely friends. Fora, a brainy farmyard goose, and Raza. a cocky teenage whale, are both on the run. Flora, a grey goose instead of a white, is not accepted by the other geese. Raza is separated from his pod because he is determined to go his own way and will not accept the orders of the old one.

Their decision to stay together leads them to an isolated west-coast island where they befriend two children living alone with their father. Twelve-year-old Jesse looks after his little sister Merle, who is "different" but has special talents that let her communicate with Raza and Flora. Jesac's yearning for company lures him out in the boat against his father's rule. Although he finds company and ice cream, that trip is almost his last.

The mystery and magic of Merie's communication with the creatures provide a mythical sea tale balanced and made believable by the familiarity of such things as Jesse, his father, the school and its children. It is a story full of sea lore and human relationships—an unusual story about differences and how trust and love can exist despite differences—told in a way that eight- to twelve-year-olds can relate to.

Mollie Hooper, Qualicum Beach, B.C.

*Reviewed vol. V/l Winter 1977 p.41.
**Reviewed vol. VII/3 Summer 1979 p. 159.
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