Day of the Whale


Rachel Delahaye’s first novel for older readers is a compelling and highly contemporary story about the importance of asking questions and demanding answers.  Set in the near future on the island of Cetacea, amidst a flooded world, the oppressed people believe their world is controlled by rules set by whales.  Big Blue, the whale god, visits the island and delivers his ‘sermons’, which are delivered by Byron Vos, a ‘whale talker’.

For 13 year old Cam, Byron is something of a hero.  He too wishes to be a whale talker.  He believes that by becoming one, it will help solve the mystery that for him is all-consuming – the sudden and unexplained disappearance of his father.  Why will no-one answer his questions about his dad and why is the past a forbidden subject.  Why are there no books?  Is the truth about Cetacea something quite different from that which the people are told?

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Day of the Whale

Rachel Delahaye


At the outset of Day of the Whale, we learn that the last thing Cam’s father said to him was ‘Follow the big blue’.  Soon after, his father disappeared. Cam of course wants to solve the mystery of his dad’s disappearance and he believes the answer lies in following Big Blue.  Everybody on the island of Cetacea follows Big Blue, the blue whale god.  It sets the rules for the island, and everyone follows them.
For the people of the island, their lives take place within these rules.  These are delivered to them by the enigmatic whale-talker, Byron Vos. Byron was once a marine scientist but is now is set on an epic clean-up operation, which he hopes will revive the ocean after centuries of human greed and neglect.  But Cam wonders if there is a more complex truth. No-one will answer his questions; the truth remains frustratingly elusive.  Furthermore, the people are discouraged from asking questions about the past – history is forbidden.
Cam is just trying to find a truth that may be connected to his father’s disappearance. His quest to understand Big Blue and the mysterious Byron leads him to new friends and shared adventures.  As he nears his goal, he realises that there are many people on the island that also want to question the ‘lessons’ of the past.  The truth however, when Cam finds it, is more dangerous and devastating than ever he could have imagine.
Bookwagon is pleased to stock Rachel Delahaye’s Mort the Meek and the Raven’s Revenge, for middle grade readers.


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