Last year, students studied WHALE SONG and I decided to hold a contest. The winner would receive a Chapters gift card. Students would submit their critique and I was the judge. It wasn't easy picking a winner from all the great entries, but in the end I had to give the prize to the one student whom I thought really got all the messages and themes in WHALE SONG.
And the winner is...JULIE. Here is her entry (I have edited out all spoilers)...
After reading the novel Whale Song, I can safely say that I loved the book. I liked the way every character played an important part in the book, no matter how often they appear. I also loved the native legends that were mentioned, because they can be applicable to everyday life. A perfect example of one of the native legends I really like, would be the legend of Seagull, because it applies to everyday life and helps to deal with difficult situations, such as death.
This novel stirred up a lot of emotions, I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I could feel what Sarah felt. Whale Song is certainly a good novel to read in an 11 grade English class, because it deals with issues that we are old enough to comprehend, and we are not to old to no longer understand all of Sarah’s feelings. As you age, you tend to forget how you felt as a youth, but when you are closer to that age, you tend to remember the feelings you felt, such as Sarah’s crush on Adam, Sarah’s strong friendship with Amber-Lynn, Sarah’s friendship with Goldie, etc. Adults tend to put less emphasis on their friends and more on their life and jobs.
Another thing I like in the novel would be the love of a parent... My favourite character in Whale Song would certainly be Nana, because of her spiritual beliefs and powers. She really would be a fascinating woman to meet. She helped Sarah get through the loss of her mother, by telling her multiple native legends. She always knew exactly what to say and when to say it.
Finally, I love the way we find out [the] big secret in the end...[which] adds an unexpected twist to the story. I was not in any way expecting that. Whale Song is a great novel, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good book. --JulieCongratulations on winning my contest, Julie. Thank you for sharing with me and my readers how you felt when reading Whale Song.