Chasing at the Surface
Sometimes finding your way home takes more than courage. It takes a leap of faith.
Winner, National Outdoor Book Award Winner for Children's Literature
Winner, Children's Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Books
YA Honorable Mention, Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award
"As the orcas' lives become increasingly imperiled, Marisa unleashes her imagination, her compassion, and her courage. . . Moments close to the orcas are breathtakingly described, accentuating the thrill as the whales breach, sound, and vocalize. Basing her story on actual events, the author has created a poignant novel that vividly celebrates the interconnected nature of all living creatures. Like the eerily beautiful voices of the orcas in the ocean, this book will haunt readers."
"Mentyka artfully weaves whale facts through this moving drama about family relationships and the natural world. Though what's outstanding is Mentyka's skill at immersing readers in Marisa's wonderful sensory scenes with the whales that could only come from her own first-hand experience. The parallels between the plight of the whales and Marisa's confusion and anger at her mom reinforce that the answers to all of life's questions can be found in nature. Chasing at the Surface is an unforgettable adventure that takes readers along on a heart-pounding, up-close-and-personal encounter with a pod of powerful orcas."
—Midwest Book Review
Chasing at the Surface tells the story of a young girl's courage and the healing power of nature. After her mother unexpectedly leaves home, twelve-year old Marisa struggles with her feelings of loss and abandonment just as a pod of nineteen orca whales—mothers with their new calves following a run of chum salmon—become trapped in the enclosed inlet near her Northwest home. Marisa’s journey to help the whales find their way home brings her to a new understanding of the assaults humans have had on nature, and the complicated meaning of family and home.