Published by Greenwillow Books (Released September 1)
Summary: Vega and her orca family live in the waters near land, taking care of each other and hunting for the salmon that sustains them. Vega is learning to be a wayfinder, taught by her mother and grandmother in the matriarchal orca society. When an earthquake and tsunami separate the family, Vega must keep herself and her younger brother Deneb safe. They wind up in a much deeper part of the ocean, where they discover sights and creatures they have never seen before. A harrowing journey back to their home reunites them with a couple of family members and gives them hope that they may find the rest of their kin some day. Includes maps; facts about orcas; the real orcas who inspired the story; and additional information about salmon, the various habitats in the story, earthquakes and tsunamis, and how to help the orcas (not seen by me in the advanced review copy I got). 336 pages; grades 3-7.
Pros: Another fascinating animal adventure by the author of A Wolf Called Wander, probably my top book club book in 2019. Readers will learn a lot about the orcas and their ocean environment, as well as the threat humans pose to them. I was sorry not to get to see Lindsay Moore’s illustrations (who is oddly not credited on the cover), which I’m sure are beautiful based on her work in Sea Bear.
Cons: I found myself struggling a bit to get through this book, although it is beautifully written and has plenty of action. I hope I’ll get to try it out on kids soon to see if they enjoy it as much as Wander.