On the Rocks

  • Pages:128
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Series: Orca Currents
  • Themes:orca, stranded whale, marine rescue, pod, grandson
  • Available:01/28/2020
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Reading Level:3.2
  • Lexile:HL560L
  • ATOS:4.0
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:Y
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An inspiring story about the ups and downs of family.

Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. One day Dylan discovers a young orca stranded high up on the rocky beach. Dylan runs to tell his grandfather. There’s nothing that can be done, says Angus. The sun is coming up, and soon the orca will die of exposure.

But Dylan knows he has to try to save the whale. He collects towels to cover the delicate skin of the orca and begins transporting buckets of water from the ocean below to keep it hydrated. It’s grueling work, and it will be hours before the tide comes back in and the water is high enough for the orca to swim free. Angus is moved by his grandson’s determination and helps as best he can. They both desperately hope that soon the orca will be able to join its family, who have been calling out to it just offshore.

“A short and simple...effective tale of intergenerational understanding.”
– Kirkus Reviews
On the Rocks is well-written and a 'page-turner'...An excellent read for readers who like stories about family and nature. Highly Recommended.”
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"An exciting read...Dylan was a likable character and his backstory added extra emotion to the story."
– Canadian Children's Book News, student takeover edition
“Very highly recommended for middle school and struggling high school readers. Excellent choice for libraries and families. The topics are current and smoothly written at a lower reading level.”
– Must Read Lit: K thru YA
Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection   | 2020  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection   | 2020  |  Commended