Whale in Paris (A Whale in Paris)


A hopeful and heroic girl befriends a small, lost whale during World War II and together they embark on a journey to liberate France and find their families in this charming debut novel.

Ever since the Germans became the unwelcome “guests” of Paris in the early days of World War II, Papa and Chantal have gone out in the evenings to fish in the Seine. Tonight Chantal is hoping for a salmon, but instead she spies something much more special: a whale!

Though small (for a whale) and lost, he seems friendly. Chantal soon opens her heart to the lovable creature and names him Franklin, after the American president who must surely be sending troops to rescue her country.

Yet Franklin is in danger: The Parisians are starving and would love to eat him, and the Nazis want to capture him as a gift to Hitler. In a desperate bid to liberate themselves and their city, Chantal and Franklin embark on a dangerous voyage. But can one small girl manage to return a whale to the ocean and reunite him with his parents? And will she ever see her own family again?--from the publisher

256 pages               978-1534419155               Ages 9-13


I love this book, but I'm biased. Along with my husband, I dreamed and talked and wrote this novel into existence. So obviously, I love this story about a heroic girl who befriends a lost whale, questions (male) authority, defends the ones in need, overcomes her fears, and helps liberate her country. The circumstances are often dark—occupation, war, hunger, camps—but our heroine persists, because she never loses faith in the power of friendship and love. I’m grateful to Erin McGuire who illustrated this novel and depicted our characters in beautiful Paris. Reading A Whale in Paris now is almost like a visit to France in times past.--from the author

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