From School Library Journal
Self-conscious about her appearance and her abilities ever since she lost her foot in an accident four years ago, 12-year-old Koby feels most at home on the water. Not only does she love living on her family's sailboat, but she revels in her time alone aboard a dinghy that she navigates through the Florida Keys. When she discovers a wounded pilot whale and helps it deliver a calf, then later rescues the animals when they're beached, the independence and attention generated by these incidents give her an improved self-image as well as new, admiring friends. Her parents' separation and a hurricane that threatens her father's livelihood as well as the whales' lives are other obstacles that must be overcome. Mikaelsen's writing is strongest when describing rich scenes of the seascape and wildlife behavior. The characters, however, seem to be of a type (gruff sailor; bouncy, popular classmate, etc.), fulfilling a purpose in the story but never coming alive, conveying humor that is forced and often speaking in a moralizing or patronizing tone. Although the theme of rehabilitation is evident, with the exception of the rescue there is a lack of tension and a juggling of plots that lead to a predictable, and at times sentimental, story.
Mikaelson...knows the first rule of adventure stories for children: put the kid-hero and reader-smack in the middle....Koby is a seaworthy heroine who makes things happen.
read this outloud to my elementary age kids. They enjoyed it as did I