Tag Archives: dolphins

Serendipity with dolphins

3 Jul

In amongst the very famous authors at last Sunday’s YA Coffee Klatch were some lesser known authors. It doesn’t mean they were less skilled authors. When Ginny Rorby sat at our table and held up the novel she was promoting,


I blurted out, “That is sitting in my to read pile right now!” It was serendipitous.

Publisher’s Summary: Lily loves her half-brother, Adam, but she has always struggled with him, too. He’s definitely on the autism spectrum–though her step-father, Don, can barely bring himself to admit it–and caring for him has forced Lily to become as much mother as sister. All Lily wants is for her step-father to acknowledge that Adam has a real issue, that they need to find some kind of program that can help him. Then maybe she can have a life of her own.

Adam’s always loved dolphins, so when Don, an oncologist, hears about a young dolphin with cancer, he offers to help. He brings Lily and Adam along, and Adam and the dolphin–Nori–bond instantly.

But though Lily sees how much Adam loves Nori, she also sees that the dolphin shouldn’t spend the rest of her life in captivity, away from her family. Can Adam find real help somewhere else? And can Lily help Nori regain her freedom without betraying her family?

Ginny is also the author of Hurt Go Happy, which won a 2008 Schneider Family Book Award.


Publisher’s Summary:Thirteen-year-old Joey Willis is used to being left out of conversations. Though she’s been deaf since the age of six, Joey’s mother has never allowed her to learn sign language. She strains to read the lips of those around her, but often fails.

Everything changes when Joey meets Dr. Charles Mansell and his baby chimpanzee, Sukari. Her new friends use sign language to communicate, and Joey secretly begins to learn to sign. Spending time with Charlie and Sukari, Joey has never been happier. She even starts making friends at school for the first time. But as Joey’s world blooms with possibilities, Charlie’s and Sukari’s choices begin to narrow–until Sukari’s very survival is in doubt.

I highly recommend both!

Skippy, Flipper and the Dolphins of Shark Bay

10 Jan

I had two favorite animal shows when I was a kid. 


Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was set in Australia. The show’s star was Skippy, a wild female Eastern Grey Kangaroo. His sidekick was  Sonny Hammond, younger son of the Head Ranger of Waratah National Park. The stories revolved around events in the park, including its animals, the dangers arising from natural hazards, and the actions of visitors.

My other favorite was


Flipper was a bottle nose dolphin. His sidekicks were Sandy and Bud, the two sons of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in southern Florida.

Gosh they sound rather a like, don’t they. I got thinking about Skippy & Flipper because of Pamela S. Turner’s The Dolphins of Shark Bay.


It’s about dolphins in Australia. Sort of Skippy meets Flipper. I am being a little funny, but this is a seriously good book. It is part of the “Scientists in the Field Series” from Houghton Mifflin.

The book focuses on dolphins living in Shark Bay, Australia. These dolphins use sponges as tools to aid them in gathering fish to ear, and have been the focus of study by scientist Janet Mann and her research team. Scott Tuason’s colorful photographs enhance the text and draw readers into the book. Mann comes to know each of these bottlenose dolphins as individuals and as members of extended families, and she introduces readers to some of them. She has also worked with the Australian government to enact rules that better protect these dolphins from nearby commercial fishing interests and from over-enthusiastic eco-tourists.

A good addition to a library and recommend for animal lovers.

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