The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Told in journal format, this is a story about a teenage girl who is found in the ocean off the coast of Cuba by the Coast Guard. They name her Mila (Spanish for ‘miracle’) and discover that she has been living with dolphins for most of her life. She is placed into a special hospital/school where she can learn how communicate and behave like a human.
Mila’s progress is clearly documented in her journal entries; her entries start off very short with little vocabulary, then grow longer as she learns more. She likes her doctors/therapists very much and is happy where she is…but she also desperately misses the ocean and her dolphin family. At times she feels trapped living in the special house; she is always under someone’s supervision and unable to live freely, the way she did in the ocean. She has learned so much about humans, but will she ever really feel like she fits in?
This was a very interesting story. I think it’s remarkable that someone who lived wildly for so many years, not clearly remembering being around other humans, would be able to progress so rapidly with her speech and human behaviors. Readers who enjoyed this book about a wild child might also enjoy the classic The Jungle Book (Kipling) or Passager (Yolen).
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