The Gray Whale's Lament

The Four Elements Cli-Fi Trilogy
Book 2:

Just Published
Print and Kindle

GWL Cover 11:6


One blustery spring morning fourteen-year-old Tlingit Native American, Alysie Muckpa, who possess a secret power to communicate with whales, sets out to find Nastilane, the ancient gray whale she has bonded with. To her horror she finds Natsilane washed up on a remote beach near her village in Alaska. Alysie fears that whales are in great danger.
Determined to save the whales, Alysie joins forces with teens who live on the whales’ migration path along the Pacific coast. Together with sensitive Sarah from San Francisco, and brave Macho from Baja Mexico, the three hatch daring projects to save the endangered whales before it is too late. All three share a love for these intelligent mammals who communicate with one another through their songs, and like trees reduce the harmful effects of climate change on the whales.
Without revealing her power, Alysie strives to win the respect of the marine scientists in order to be included in their research mission—deciphering the whales’ songs critical to their survival. Sarah struggles to overcome her fear of failure to launch ambitious projects to reduce the plastic trash flowing into the ocean that’s harming whales. Macho uncovers plans of Kosho, the largest salt mining company in the world, to expand their mines into the gray whales’ birthing lagoon. Despite the risk of being branded a tattletale, invoking the wrath of his father, and the powerful CEOs that provide jobs for the people of his village, he must decide whether to reveal the project to Dr. Salinas, heading the Lagoon Research project on gray whales.
     When Alysie hears a gray whale singing out, 'beware of melting ice!' she fears Marshish, her uncle’s tiny island village in the far north of Alaska, is in danger of flooding. To save her family and her people she must reveal her secret power to Valentine at the risk of being dismissed from the science project. The three Eco warriors will need to summon extraordinary courage to face down powerful corporations, fueling climate change and the fury of nature itself. But time is running out. The oceans filling with plastic, Alaskan villages are flooding. The odds are stacked against them, but the three aren’t about to give up.
        Teens and the young at heart who are drawn to adventure and mysteries set in the natural world, will be inspired by
The Whale's Warning. My stories interweave science with storytelling to inspire and empower young people to become wise stewards of the Earth.
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The Gray Whale’s Lament made me tear up. I so enjoyed this story. Whales have always been a cause of mine. I taught a unit on them. We simply must save them. I will definitely be sending this book to many of my grandchildren and teacher friends.—Alma Huston. Retired principal, and high school teacher. Alma is passionate about environmental education.

I often think of whales and that so much research continues to elucidate what sentient creatures they are. I wonder if they will ever be able to “forgive” us for all the abuses we have directed at them. —Roger Birkhead. State Department of Education Biology Specialist for the Auburn University region of the Alabama Science In Motion program.

I throughly enjoyed the fun interplay between the three teens.  The whale descriptions, local flora and fauna are all accurate and clearly well researched. And I loved that each of the teens found some way to help whales.  Such a message can have a powerful impact on young readers and the young at heart concerned about the environment and inspire small scale eco-conservation/justice projects to improve or benefit their corner of the world. Bravo on another cleverly crafted contribution to the young adult literature!—Maggie Amsler,
marine biologist, is a part of Antarctica's history. Because of her important contributions to Antarctic science since 1980, Maggie and her husband Chuck Amsler were honored by the US Board of Geographic names with the designation of Amsler Island, in the Antarctic.

Claire Datnow’s new Eco adventure for young adults does not disappoint. Once again, she intertwines the fate of a threatened species (the gray whales) with the lives of three teenagers who come to realize that they must take action, however small, to focus attention on the threat to these magnificent marine creatures. The three teens come from very different backgrounds, from the indigenous people of Alaska, from the suburban environment of the San Francisco area, and from the lagoons of the Baja California of Mexico where the gray whales come to give birth. In spite of their differences, they are brought together in friendships which will give purpose to their already busy lives as they raise awareness of the plight of the whales, the part played by shipping and the danger posed by the growing volume of chemicals and plastic in the oceans.  As always, Ms. Datnow’s research is impeccable, and will inspire teenagers to learn more about the ecological issues we are leaving to their generation.Ann Morrison-Low, Librarian.