Savannah Dawson is the twelve-year-old daughter of a widowed father who lives on a whaling station on the shores of New South Wales in Australia. Her family has been using a unique technique to hunt whales for decades: the orcas. Nevertheless, Savannah cannot help but be unsure of the creatures ever since her brothers’ strange deaths. Wanting to prove herself to her father and continue the Dawson family’s legacy, Savannah chooses to be a whaler to discover the mystery behind her brother’s deaths and to avenge them.
Along the way, Savannah meets an aboriginal boy called Figgie, who teaches her a whole new way of life. He teaches her about the Law of the Bay and how to improve her whaling skills. After Savannah is confident and joins the whaling crew, she discovers the harsh realities of the whaling business. A whale destroys Savannah’s boat, leaving her helpless in the dangerous shark-infested waters. When an orca miraculously saves her, she becomes determined to protect the species. But will Savannah be able to live up to her promise and stand up against greedy orca hunters?
The Whaler's Daughter by Jerry Mikorenda is a fantastic YA novel that deals with serious and humorous themes. The author has the uncanny ability to entertain readers while exploring themes that are complex, presenting characters that are elaborately written and a conflict that moves the story forward and steadily through unexpected twists. The inner world of the young female protagonist is intelligently crafted and as the reader navigates this world, they connect strongly with her. Savannah is a curious and brave young girl who has ambitions, compassion, and sincerity that is well beyond her years, and her humanity will draw readers in irresistibly. The author weaves intrigue and action into the plot, making it hard for readers to put down the story. The Whaler’s Daughter provides plenty of food for thought as the book focuses on environmental issues, aboriginal beliefs, and complex family bonds. This book is not just for young adults as it can provide great understanding and knowledge to readers of all ages. The Whaler's Daughter is hugely entertaining, featuring elegant prose and characters that are unforgettable.