The Music of Dolphins
Author: Karen Hesse
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Changes and New Experiences, Fitting In, Music
A girl raised by dolphins must choose between two worlds in this critically acclaimed novel about what it means to be a human being.
They call her Mila, from the Spanish word for "miracle." Lost after a plane crash when she was small, Mila has been cared forever since by dolphins. When she is eventually spotted on an unpopulated island off Cuba, she is an adolescent and seems hardly human to her rescuers.
Mila is taken to a child study center in Boston. Eager to please, she makes rapid progress in language and social skills. With her recorder, Mila finds she can even make music like the dolphin songs she yearningly remembers. But the more Mila discovers about what it means to be human — the locked doors, the rules, the betrayals — the more she longs for her watery home and gentle dolphin family.
In an emotionally wracking conclusion, she returns to the world where her ears never want for song. Where, although she cannot stand on her tail or jump the waves, she is part of the music of dolphins.