Book Review: Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer

Orca Rescue! by Donna Sandstrom

Between the ages of roughly 6–16, I would tell anyone who would listen that when I grew up, I wanted to marine biologist. Not just any marine biologist, but one who was an expert on orcas. If you don’t believe me you can ask my Mom, and she’ll show you pictures of my bed sheets, wallpaper, and birthday cakes over the years, all covered in killer whalesπŸ˜…

While I didn’t end up becoming a marine biologist (math is hard!!), my love for whales never went away, and as soon as I saw this book I knew I absolutely needed to read it. It’s technically written for children, but even as an adult, it made my heart soarπŸ₯°

Orca Rescue! by Donna Sandstrom follows the story of Springer, a young orca who was found near Seattle, separated from her pod. What resulted was an international, and well-documented attempt, to reunite her with her family. I remember reading about it when it happened, and was so happy to get more details about the story.

While this little book chronicles Springer’s story, it also includes lots of information on orcas in general, from where they live to what they eat, their social structures, and even information about their history in captivity, and how that’s now illegal in many parts of the world. The water color illustrations are also stunning, and add extra depth to the book as well.

The facts and science in this book are simplified for young readers, but provide a great starting point for those who love whales and want to learn more. I know a younger version of myself would have taken a highlighter to it, and asked my parents to help me track down the resources listed at the end to learn more. Even now, as an adult, I’m going to look some of them up!

If you know a young reader who loves whales, conservation, or marine life in general, this book would be perfect. It blends storytelling, science, and art well, and is sure to be a hit.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Kids Can Press, for a digital ARC via NetGalley. Orca Rescue! by Donna Sandstrom came out on October 5, 2021, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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