Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 3 - 7Grades 3 - 5Tn/an/a
In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the story of a deaf girl's connection to a whale whose song can't be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she's the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she's not very smart. If you've ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to "sing" to him! But he's three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.

"Fascinating, brave, and tender...a triumph." --Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

"Beautifully written and such an important story for kids with big struggles in their lives. I fell into Iris's world from the first chapter. Lynne Kelly does an amazing job telling the story from Iris's perspective." --Millicent Simmonds, actress, Wonderstruck and A Quiet Place

"Quick-moving, suspenseful...this remains a satisfying, energetic read. Iris' adventures will engross readers." --Kirkus Reviews

"This finely crafted novel affectingly illuminates issues of loneliness, belonging, and the power of communication." --Publishers Weekly
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published on February 5, 2019 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 152477023X
ISBN-13: 9781524770235
11 Book Reviews
  • justakid45
    justakid4525 days55 stars
    this book is a inspiring book. It is about a girl who is deaf. She finds a whale that sings different songs than the other whales. The girl named iris decides to make a song kinda like the whales song.
    • twelfth_night
      twelfth_night3 months55 stars
      I love this book so far! we are reading it in class and things can get soooo sad at times, but I love it!
      • theyellowdog
        theyellowdog9 months44 stars
        i love this book so much, There is one girl that is deaf. She's get's bully because people think that she's bad at math. There's one whale that feel's bad for a one whale because the whale can't talk to other's whale
        • bday_summergirl
          bday_summergirlabout 1 year55 stars
          From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she's the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she's not very smart. If you've ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be. When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to "sing" to him! But he's three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him? Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.
          • bday_summergirl
            bday_summergirlabout 1 year55 stars
            I like this book
            • bsc
              bscabout 1 year55 stars
              Iris is loney. Being the only deaf girl at her school, many people ignore her or try to hard to do sign language like Nina. Her best friend Wellden goes to a school for the deaf that Iris wants to go to, except her mom doesn't want that for Iris. She thinks best when it's just her and the old radios Irish cleans up and repairs. So when is science, Iris learns about a whale, Blue 55, who is unlike the rest of his pod and is likely deaf. He doesn't fit in with anyone and probably doesn't even know his own parents. Iris's heart aches, her nose runs, and she thinks...that this is how she feels all the time too. Iris is destined to help Blue 55. Making a song for him and writing back and forth with a worker of Blue 55, Iris is more determined than ever to help him. Secretly booking a cruise with her lonely deaf grandmother to visit Blue 55 2,000 miles away, Iris is not only helping Blue 55, but herself and someone very close to her. Will Iris's plan work? Or will it just be another failed attempt? Get your tissues ready, for Song for a Whale is full of sign language, self discovery, and whales. Happy reading!
              • lunar3clipse
                lunar3clipseabout 1 year44 stars
                This book stars Iris, a deaf girl who is a tech genius. But people act like she is not smart. Iris learns about Blue 55, a whale whose hertz is 55, and other whales cannot understand him. Iris is determined to make Blue 55's voice heard, and how does she try to to that? With radios! But if the whale is hundreds of miles away, how will she do it? Read more
                • rileylovesjesus
                  rileylovesjesusover 1 year55 stars
                  I agree the book is at our school library and I have read almost half of it now. #SongForAWhale.
                  • rileylovesjesus
                    rileylovesjesusover 1 year55 stars
                    Loving it sooo far it is about a deaf girl named Iris she is a confident girl who loves a whale named Blue 55 and wants to make a song for him.
                    • mmb
                      mmbover 1 year55 stars
                      I'm Loving it so far I have the book right here with me and I'm going to to read it after I write this review.