Monday, September 10, 2018

A Whale in Paris by Presley & Polders - OPTIONAL

A Whale in Paris by Daniel Presley and Claire Polders, 243 pages. Atheneum Books, 2018. $18. 9781534419155.
Language: G (0 swears); Mature content: PG (parent death); Violence: PG (war).



Chantal lives with her father in Paris in 1944 under Nazi rule. One night while fishing in the Seine, Chantal discovers a whale in the river and befriends him. At first the whale is greeted happily by her fellow Parisians but as famine hits the city, they soon sour to the ocean visitor and would have killed him except for the Nazis declaring him off limits--they want to give him as a gift to Hitler. Eventually Chantal's family is arrested and in these dire straits, Chantal hops on the whale's back and hopes to swim with him to rescue her family and find safety.

This story sounds really ridiculous when you have to say out loud what its about, but I have to admit the actual story was a fun read. The major issues I have with this book all stem from its classification as historical fiction. The emphasis should definitely be on fiction and not historical, but this is still the kind of book preteen girls will get a kick out of. And who doesn't love the idea of riding on a whale in Paris?!

Reviewer: TC

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