Grayson by Lynne Cox
A Harvest Book, New York, 2008
Borrowed from a friend.
Grayson is the true story of a seventeen year old swimmer’s meeting with a baby gray whale. Lynne Cox trained along Seal Beach in Southern California. She often swam between the pier and the jetty at the mouth of the San Gabriel River. One early March morning in the mid 1970s she had a very special encounter.
Very early one morning, as Cox is training, she becomes aware of something large swimming near her. A friend on the dock tells her not to swim to shore because the animal, a young gray whale, will follow her, and, if beached, will suffer and die. Lynne is determined to help the whale and swims with it until it rejoins its mother.
This is a sweet little book. Cox knows the ocean so well she could be part fish and her descriptions of moving through the water are quite wonderful.
As the sun rose higher it turned tangerine and pushed the band of ruby red higher into the sky. The ocean resonated with color and warmth as I rolled back onto my stomach and swam across converging pools of red, orange, yellow and gold.
Energy and warmth flowed across my back and shoulders. I was moving fast and free, feeling the power and lift in my arms and the strength deep within my body. My breathing was back to normal and finally this was fun again. From page 28.
She writes poetically about her observations, what she sees and hears around her. She has a naturalist’s understanding of the animals that live along this part of the southern California coast and her compassion and determination to help “Grayson” are an inspiration. A colleague of mine plans to read this book aloud to her elementary students. I think it would be great as a read-aloud book for parents.