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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published on December 31, 2019 by Yearling
ISBN-10: 1524770264
ISBN-13: 9781524770266
8 Book Reviews
  • bday_summergirl
    bday_summergirlSunday, March 28, 2021 at 10:12 am55 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_summergirlSunday, March 28, 2021 at 10:12 am55 stars
      I like this book
      • bsc
        bscSunday, March 28, 2021 at 8:24 am55 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!
        • ballerina_88
          ballerina_88Friday, March 19, 2021 at 7:07 am44 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
            rileylovesjesusTuesday, December 8, 2020 at 11:27 am55 stars
            I agree the book is at our school library and I have read almost half of it now. #SongForAWhale.
            • rileylovesjesus
              rileylovesjesusTuesday, December 8, 2020 at 11:25 am55 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
                mmbTuesday, December 8, 2020 at 10:23 am55 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.
                • beyoutiful
                  beyoutifulFriday, October 11, 2019 at 4:51 pm55 stars
                  I decided to read this book because the title & the cover makes it look interesting/good and it is.