Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Bill Sommer, Natalie Haney Tilghman
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
James, a whale-obsessed fourteen-year-old, has his own whale whom he has “adopted” and tracks online. In a series of events in which his whale is lost and ultimately beached, James reaches out to an old acquaintance through email. A 52-Hertz Whale is a series of strings of emails between a handful of characters. In this transcript of emails, James finds solace from his lack of friends at school and is able to help those he is in correspondence with to improve upon their own problems.
In a chilling and touching symbolism represented by the author, readers will feel encouraged to reach out from any loneliness or solitude to find others in similar emotional states. This book is not for younger readers, due to the confusing composition of the book and the strong language interspersed. Because of the many emails (and the replacement of names with email addresses) introduced by the author in the book, characters can be easily confused. However, because of the uplifting message of the story, young adult readers may find solace from loneliness in the pages.
*Contains moderate language and mild sexual content.