Monday, 8 July 2013

The Forever Whale by Sarah Lean

Title: The Forever Whale
Author: Sarah Lean
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 4th July 2013
Pages: 272
Genres: Children's
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher

A shared story can last forever.

"Memories scoop you up and take you back to another time, so you can feel things all over again. I think of how important it is for all of us, but especially for Grandad, to remember the bright things from the past. But now he's forgotten everything and he hasn't told me his most important memory yet - the one about a whale..." 

Can Hannah piece together the extraordinary story that  connects Grandad's childhood to her own?

*Sorry about the bad quality picture of the book, it is the only one I could find.*

This story is beautifully told by ten-year-old Hannah. She has always been very close with her Grandad and she has lovely memories of going out on his boat with him in the summer. But then things take a turn for the worse, when her Grandad develops Alzheimer's. Everything starts going downhill, but a mystery is unfolding, which Hannah needs to get to the bottom of, fast.

I found it quite a slow read - it took me a while to get into it; in fact it took me most of the book to get into it - but it's like a jigsaw and the story started gradually piecing together. It was nice to read though and it was a lovely story. Hannah's Grandad reminded me a lot of my late Grandma who also had Alzheimer's so it was a story that I could relate to, and Hannah and her Grandad in particular were very believable characters.

In my opinion I don't like the cover too much, but obviously that doesn't affect the story inside and it is just down to personal preference.

I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I was younger - maybe I'm too old for it. Still, it's a lovely story and full of emotion. I recommend it for readers aged 8-11 and my rating for it is 3.5/5!


  1. It's a shame that it took you a while to get into it, but I'm glad you enjoyed some parts. It sounds like quite an emotional book but a lovely story all the same :) Great review, Amber!

  2. Awwh i hate slow reads. >.< and i agree about the cover. My grandad had Alzheimers too. :( But i'm glad it finally picked up at the end and lets hope that the people' who's age range it is aimed at don't find it slow! :D great review. x

    1. Sorry to hear about your Grandad. :( And thanks x

  3. Too bad it was a bit slow. It does look like a read for younger children. Great review, Amber!