Saturday, February 9, 2013

Review: Grayson

Title: Grayson
Author: Lynne Cox
Page Count: 148
My Rating: 3.5 TURTLES: A very enjoyable read, I recommend you check it out.
It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, outside the wave break. She was swimming her last half-mile back to the pier before heading home for breakfast when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; thousands of baby anchovy darted through the water like lit sparklers, trying to evade something larger. Whatever it was, it felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.

It wasn’t a shark. It became clear that it was a baby gray whale—following alongside Lynne for a mile or so. Lynne had been swimming for more than an hour; she needed to get out of the water to rest, but she realized that if she did, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs.

The baby whale was migrating on a three-month trek to its feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, an eight-thousand-mile journey. It would have to be carried on its mother’s back for much of that distance, and was dependent on its mother’s milk for food. If Lynne didn’t find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.

Something so enormous—the mother whale was fifty feet long—suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her? (242)


Grayson is different from the type of books I normally read. It is non-fiction, - and even though it’s labeled under science, and marine life, it reads very much like a long personal essay - which is not usually the genre I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.

Lynne Cox tells the story of her discovery of a baby gray whale when she is about seventeen. She switches between the narratives of that particular morning, along with spinning off on other stories of her life. She has a very descriptive writing style, and I loved the visuals she created of the ocean and the marine life in it.

Most of the time, Grayson read like a creative piece, but there were times when the writing became very technical. For instance, instead of just saying the whale is a baby gray whale, she goes on to say he is about eighteen feet long, and then describes the average lengths of adult male and female gray whales as well. I felt like I had learned a thing or two when I was done with the book, but it was a little choppy when I was reading it.

Grayson is a very quick, cute, enjoyable read. Even though it is not labeled as a book for children, an elementary school aged child would not have a problem with the subject matter if they read it or it was read to them. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, sweet story, especially if they have an interest in marine life. 

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