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Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo

Why the Whales Came (1985)

by Michael Morpurgo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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391941,642 (3.74)13



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Svenska: Då valarna kom
  helenaferry | Jan 18, 2019 |
This story is set on a remote island in the days leading up to World War I. 'You keep away from the Birdman,' warned Gracie's father. 'Keep well clear of him, you hear me now?' But Gracie and her friend Daniel discover the Birdman isn't mad or dangerous as everyone says. Yet he does warn them to stay away from the abandoned Samson Island - he says it's cursed. And when the children are stranded on Samson by fog, Gracie returns to hear tragic news. Could the Samson Island be cursed like the Birdman says? When a narwhal is beached on the sand of their island, it seems that the curse is about to strike their home. Together Birdman and the children save the narwhals and their community.
  wichitafriendsschool | Apr 9, 2018 |
Although it was quite a predictable story, plot-wise, I still really enjoyed it. I liked how the story was told in the point of view of a child, rather than an adult. It's a bit refreshing, I think. I was very slightly annoyed by how the conversations were carried out, though. It sounded a bit like an annoying, too-curious child. Haha.

I also found the ending a little too 'simple'. I think that the villagers caved in a little too easily with minimum persuasion. And although Big Tim was one of the last ones to comply, I still thought that realistically, it wouldn't have taken that quick to convince a whole village to do the compete opposite of what they've been led to believe their entire lives, and probably generations before.

Either way, I loved it and I would really love to read more from the author. ( )
  KrystleLow | Oct 27, 2016 |
Gracie and Daniel know they are not to go near the Birdman. But is the Birdman really the dangerous figure others say?

A little story about perceptions and war and curses and prejudice that will get even young children thinking about important ideas. (less) ( )
  debnance | Apr 24, 2016 |
This is a delightful novel about two children living on the small Scilly Isle of Bryher on the eve of the First World War, who befriend an outcast from the community, known as the Birdman, who hides a secret relating to the evacuation of the nearby island of Samson during his youth. It's a lovely story, which gives a good feel for the ebb and flow of island life, and shows how communities can, at their best, pull together to achieve a common goal, but at their worst seek to scapegoat an outsider. While this is nominally aimed at children, it's a great read for all ages, especially if you have been or will be going to the Scilly Isles. ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Morpurgoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dorrestein, MiekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kneepkens, HenkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
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Awards and honors
To Mark, Linda, Geoffrey and Stewart.

My thanks to Marion and Keith Bennett and Leonard Jenkins of Bryher, and also to Roy Cooper of Tresco, for their help in the writing of this book.
First words
'YOU KEEP AWAY FROM THE BIRDMAN, GRACE,' my father had warned me often enough.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
This is an exciting adventure and friendship story by a much-loved, award winning author. Gracie and her friend, Daniel have always been warned to stay away from the Birdman and his side of the island. But then, they find a message in the sand and discover the Birdman is not who they thought. They build up a lovely friendship with him, but when the children get stranded on Samson Island they don't know whether to believe the birdman's story that the island is cursed. Set on a remote island against the backdrop of World War I, this story will captivate and delight young readers.

- Amazon
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Rushy Bay was forbidden territory to Gracie and Daniel. And not just because of the currents; the Birdman lived there. Gracie brings the curse of Samson Island on her own family. It is only the Birdman who can avert the tragedy.

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