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Reviewed by Lucy Black, Librarian, Mt Cook School Wellington
Opening sentence
Our pod roams the sea on a beautiful, blue-skied day, clear and bright.
I grinned as I opened the post and saw these two names on the book cover- Linda Jane Keegan and Isobel Joy Te Aho-White! Two brilliant creators that can be relied on to provide excellent content, and Stranded certainly didn’t disappoint.

This is a small paperback with a mesmerizing cover and a heart wrenching tale of a whale stranding at Onetahua/Farewell Spit. Linda Jane Keegan has written from her own experiences as a volunteer for Project Jonah who work as first responders at whale incidents. The story is told from the point of view of one of the pilot whales in the pod, and follows along as she experiences sunburn, fear, dehydration, grief and relief. Keegan manages the tragedy of dying whales with just the right balance of recognition. I love the way the human community is represented from the whales' point of view: the volunteers, the families, the local iwi and the boaties.

Alongside the whale’s personal story, Keegan has provided information boxes for readers who want more details about whale life and stranding procedures, these boxes are valuable extras to the story.

Isobel Joy Te Aho-White provides magical illustrations that are dynamic and poetic whilst still being realistic and informative.

Upon receiving this book I immediately put my weeks reading plans aside and read this with each class I visited, it was received well by year 3-8’s and I think it will be a popular choice with teachers and students visiting the school library.
Author & Illustrator: Linda Jane Keegan, Illustrator: Joy Te Aho-White
Publisher: Bateman Books NZ
ISBN: 9781776890774
Format: Paperback
Publication: Sep 2023
Ages: 7 - 15 years
Themes: Animal conservation and protection, community