Critter Critique: The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

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I'm Sam and you've entered my world.

Today, I have another book about animals for you! This one is really neat, because it's a true story about a special orca.

The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

Author: Michael Parfit & Suzanne Chisholm
Genre: Animal/ Non-Fiction
Year of Publication: 2013

This was a really good book. I had been on one of my family's routine trips to one of the many libraries around El Paso. I had just finished all the library books I checked out before and was very excited that I could finally start on reading my own books....which is an amount that keeps increasing because I keep picking up more. However, I should've known that it wasn't meant to be. I wandered over to the new books shelf where the library puts the books it just bought (whether they're new publication wise or not). I saw the title and was curious. Then I saw the cover and just...couldn't resist. It came home with me. How could anyone resist Luna?

The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

What is The Lost Whale About?
The Lost Whale is about an orca named Luna who lived in Nootka Sound. This book retells the story of his life and the way he impacted the life's of people in that area and beyond.

About the Authors
Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm are both involved in film and writing. They write articles for different publications and have won awards for the films they've produced and directed (which includes a couple about Luna). Michael Parfit has written for National Geographic. They experienced a lot of the happenings in the book first hand and have film documentation. They interacted with a lot of the people involved with this particular incident which makes it all the more interesting and very personal.

Thoughts on the Book
I really enjoyed this book. I love animals and have had a fascination with Orcas and other marine mammals since my first trip to SeaWorld many years ago. I have never been to the northwestern coast, but I'd really like to at some point in my life and maybe even go whale watching. This was a great introduction to the landscape and the culture. Luna the orca was a kind of loner for much of his life. When he was young he was separated from his pod and lived most of his life in and around Mooyah Bay. He went by many names (Luna, L-98, Bruno, Tsux'iit) and affected many people. Because he didn't have the company of other orcas, Luna often sought out the company and attention of humans. He would go up to boats and interact with the people, letting them touch him, rub him and even massage his tongue. It wasn't exactly looked upon as good though and many people got involved and relationships among different groups got heated. The Canadian government (Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans) was involved, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations of Nootka Sound, Act Now for Ocean Natives (ANON) and residents of Gold River. Luna was getting to be a problem and everyone thought something else was best for him. No one really wanted to send him to an aquarium even though it was an option. Mostly, funds were donated and many people aimed to get Luna reunited with his pod or another similar pod. The entire book goes through the months and years of Luna connecting with people and everyone trying to decide what to do.

I loved this book a lot because it isn't just told as a series of events that occurred. It's not just facts. There are a lot of emotions and lessons that people (including the authors) learned and experienced when being around Luna and getting involved. There are so many moments of frustration and longing, happiness and deep connections. No one realized how much effect this one orca could have on so many people. Luna accompanied workers in boats and despite everyone's attempts to separate him from humans and keep interaction to a minimum, Luna would cross the boundaries and disregard them. I loved that about Luna. While you're not supposed to associate human characteristics to animals, Luna just seems persistent, as if he's really trying to achieve a connection and communicate something with the people closest to him. This book is such a great journey to take. It makes you think about how the little things in life that we tend to overlook, because we're so busy with everything else, are some of the most important things to happen. I wish I could've seen Luna and gotten to know him as all these other people did. They are truly blessed to have been a part of this orca's life and lessons. I can only hope to achieve a relationship of that caliber with someone or something. Its a truly incredible, beautiful thing. This book is full of Luna's antics, which include completely drowning a defenseless camera.

I would probably read this book again because I feel like I learned a lot from it, not just about orcas, but about life and living. I feel like I learned more about myself as a person and I hope that other readers can enjoy a similar experience. The Lost Whale really makes you want to just go out into nature and forget everything else for a little bit. Just go into a national park and smell the scents of nature and hear the sounds...just enjoy those little things that we take for granted in the hustle and bustle of the modern era. I had never heard about Luna before this book, even though his story took place only a few years ago, in the early 2000s.

I greatly enjoyed this book and I might buy it. Its pretty good, and there's a chance I would read it again to feel the magic within its pages. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves animals! To learn more about Luna's story there are the two movies about him, which I have not been able to watch unfortunately but for sure will someday in the future. There's lots more to learn about Luna if you search. Luna is an incredible orca and everyone in the book is definitely worth reading about. Its a touching, heartfelt book full of real challenges and dilemmas that people have faced. Even when things are impossible, that doesn't mean you should give up. Friendship goes beyond reason and logic and I'll be sad if I ever let a good friendship pass me by. Luna teaches people to care, to connect, to not just let things pass you by and to take chances.  The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna scores a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯ out of 5.
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This is the trailer for the movie based on the same orca from this book. It is a great companion to the book that I absolutely loved. I highly recommend this film. It is one of the best movies I've seen with great shots and video of Luna. (It's on Netflix if you have it and are interested!!!) I really want to eventually buy a copy of it, because it was so enjoyable. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried.