On the Rocks (Orca Currents)
1 Apr. 2020
Orca Book Publishers
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Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. Dylan explores the island by himself, while his grandfather, a well-known artist, spends his day locked up in his studio. 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.Orca Currents are short, high-interest novels with contemporary themes written specifically for middle-school students reading below grade level. Reading levels from grade 2.0 to 5.0. Interest level ages 10–14.