Ice Whale

Ice Whale

Illustrator: John Hendrix

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780803737457
  • 208 Pages
  • Dial Books
  • 9-12 years


From the most celebrated children’s nature writer of our time comes a posthumous new novel in the tradition of her Newbery award-winning Julie of the Wolves

In 1848 in Barrow, Alaska, a young Eskimo boy witnesses a rare sight—the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, that he calls Siku. But when he unwittingly guides Yankee whalers to a pod of bowhead whales, all the whales are killed. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down. Siku, the ice whale, returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt each descendant. The curse is finally broken when a daughter recognizes and saves the whale, and he in turn saves her. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George’s last novel is an ambitious and touching take on the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the earth they depend on.


Praise for Ice Whale:

* “Jean Craighead George’s knowledge of and talent for depicting the natural world are in full evidence in this immersive epic that combines themes of conservation and native mysticism.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A fitting envoi for a writer whose most enduring tales of nature and survival are required childhood reading.”—Kirkus Reviews

“George packs in detail about Eskimo traditions—from whale hunting to spirituality—and bowhead behaviors, including communication…this quiet story offers a compelling glimpse into the history of a way of life.”—Booklist

“A bold, wistful, and heartfelt coda to a distinguished career.”—School Library Journal
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