This week we’re going to have a change of pace, because I haven’t posted a booktalk of a children’s book in a while and because I’ve been so busy reading lately that I haven’t had a chance to write a new booktalk this week. So off to the archives we go!
The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse is a beautiful book in an unusual format. At the beginning of the book, Mila is a wild child who relates to dolphins better than to humans. But as the book progresses and Mila starts interacting with people, we see her language skills develop along with her mind and her writing style starts to evolve. This is a poignant and remarkable story, and kids will keep thinking about this book long after they’ve finished it.
Mila is famous all over the world, and she’s only a teenager. She was rescued by dolphins after her plane crashed when she was four years old, and she spent over ten years of her life with them. Now she’s been rescued again – this time, by people that look like her. The difference is, this time she didn’t want to be rescued.
The doctors work with Mila, teaching her to speak and to play music. She learns very quickly; soon she can play computer games, figure out puzzles, and play music on the recorder. She learns a lot about what it means to be human; she learns through books, through radio, and through television. But too often she feels like she’s trapped in a net of humans.
Will Mila ever think of the land as her home, or will the pull of the ocean be too strong?