It’s been awhile since our last audio review. There’s been many audios listened to, just not the time to review them. But I have a New Years resolution–at least one 5 Books and one Audio review each month…we’ll see how that goes, since it seems I’m starting in February.
So now…time to go on a whale watch! (Literally. Or, not literally…but in a literal and auditory kind of sense.)
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Nat has always been her own person. Living with her father, the famous actor XAN GALLAGHER, has taught her to be self-reliant. Moving with him every year or so to various movie locations has taught her the importance of people and places, not things. And growing up without a mother…well, that’s just left her wondering about the woman who named her and left. Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher knows her mother must have loved whales, because her middle name is French for whale, and it’s the heart of her name. But what kind of mother would love those things, but not a newborn? What kind of mother would just up and leave her kid? Nat is suddenly questioning everything about her mother, and her life.
Starting over with her dad, living in a tiny trailer in Sooke, a small town in British Colombia, Canada is a big difference from the gigantic house they left behind in San Francisco. It’s a good move for Nat though, getting her and XAN GALLAGHER away from the paparazzi, even if it means leaving her best friend Solly behind. Her best friend who didn’t act much like a best friend in the end. But postcard updates might mend their fractured friendship, and now she may have a new friend–Harry. But Harry has troubles of his own, and just because Nat wants to be his friend, it doesn’t mean he wants to be hers. Solly is growing up, and Harry is growing away. Nat wants things to stay…not the same, but she doesn’t want them all leaving her behind.
Talking to Birdy (Mom), a sort of substitute-mom-figure-adopted-by-way-of-a-prank-call on her found (stolen?) cellphone phone helps. Having Orcas come right up to her on French Beach is life changing, and helps–a lot. Getting a break from the paparazzi gives her breathing space. Even her hobby of collecting words from other languages to explain things that can’t be explained in English makes explaining things that happen easier. But growing up happens, even when you might not want it to happen; and Nat’s questions and experiences lead her on a journey of self-discovery that will change her life forever.
The audio for A Possibility of Whales is wonderful…I loved the narrator’s voice. She did a great job with all the voices, from Nat and Harry to Solly (who I pictured throwing her hair over her shoulder every time she spoke) to Birdy and Nat’s famous dad, XAN GALLAGHER. (I have to mention, I knew from the audio book reading that XAN GALLAGHER had to have been capitalized throughout the book every time it appeared–and I was right!) With all the flashbacks, the narration could have been confusing, but it wasn’t. It was perfect.
I loved this story so much! It’s a bit Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, mixed with Counting by Sevens with a bit of Beyond the Bright Sea thrown in. Told in two parts–Canada and Mexico–with many flashbacks to San Francisco interspersed, this story goes back and forth in time. Some chapters are also told from Harry’s perspective, and Harry has just as interesting a story as Nat. And I haven’t even mentioned anything that happens in the second half of the book! There’s a vacation in Mexico, more whales, a birthday, and lots more.
This is a great story about friendship, families and growing up. Nat is turning thirteen and is in seventh grade; Harry knows he’s a boy, even if he was born a girl. Both of them are looking for answers about who they are. There are funny moments, heartfelt moments, and lots of family love for both characters. I would recommend this to upper elementary and middle school readers. Some read-alikes are Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, The Higher Power of Lucky, My Sister Sif, George, and books by Cynthia Lord.
Karen Rivers is the author of Love, Ish, The Girl in the Well is Me and The Encyclopedia of Me, along with multiple teen and adult books. Stina Nielsen also narrated The Lemonade War series and the Princess Posey series.
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So if you like whales as much as Nat, you’ll love this book. If you like a little adventure, mixed with a new friendship, a famous father and a little mystery about what happened between Nat and Solly, you’ll love this book. Just try it! Let me know what you think.
As always, if you need help locating any of the books mentioned here, or if you just want some book suggestions, ask one of our librarians. We’re here to match you with a book you’ll love!