Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Song of the Whales, by Uri Orlev

This is a short fiction book (108 pages) of magical realism, making it a book for a sophisticated reader, fifth grade and older. Michael is entering fourth grade in Israel, where he and his parents have moved in order to care for Michael's grandfather.

Michael has been a lonely child until this move: now he and his grandfather bond and delight in each other. His grandfather shares his dreams with Michael, who sometimes wakes from his sleep not being sure whether he has been dreaming or whether he has actually done these things with his grandfather. His grandfather's death at the end of the story is not as traumatic as I expected it to be--Michael knows that he can always meet his grandfather in his dreams. Their time together is not over.

It's an odd little book, but one that I liked. 2010.

M. Cooney

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