By Annie Brulatour
Iris understands being surrounded by people who don’t understand you. She’s the only Deaf kid in her school and keeps running into issues with other students and teachers. Her parents are great but don’t understand her love of electronics - specifically repairing antique radios. Her grandfather, also Deaf, is the one person she really clicks with. After he passes away, she struggles to connect to anyone. When Iris learns about Blue 55, a lonely whale who sings at a different frequency than other whales, she realizes she knows exactly how he feels. And, that she might be just the person to help scientists communicate with him. Iris teams up with her grandmother, and the two go on a journey of wonder and healing to find Blue 55.
Song for A Whale is an uplifting and solid middle school read. Despite being a little impatient, Iris has a refreshing point of view and has no time for nonsense. Song for a Whale deftly handles loneliness, identity, the struggle to connect without compromising personal identity, grief, and much more. Additionally, the book is an excellent contribution to Deaf representation, bringing insight into Deaf Culture and Community to young readers.