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The Girl of the Sea of Cortez
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The Girl of the Sea of Cortez

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  639 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Paloma, the fourteen-year-old girl of the title, is an enchanting creation, almost a sea-nymph for all her convincing flesh and blood. Fearless and curious, she revels in the knowledge of the sea and its inhabitants handed down to her by her fisherman father, and her adventures guide us into the beauties and mysteries of the underwater world.
Mass Market Paperback, Berkeley, 240 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Berkley (first published June 1st 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,040)
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John Wiswell
Jun 24, 2007 John Wiswell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers, environmentalists
A very different kind of story from Mr. Benchley, sort of an apology for the hysteria books like Jaws, White Shark and Beast caused. Here is an assertive girl with her late father's love of the sea and nature, set into conflict with her brother who only sees economic benefit in it, even if it means destroying the local ecosystem. There isn't a monster, or even a truly demonized human here, though the brother is considerably less sympathetic that the girl who champions Benchley's cause. Heartwarm ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رواية ممتعة جدا
ما أن رأيت اسم بيتر بنشلي عليها فاشتريتها فورا
لأني أعرف الإثارة التى تنتظرني
وبالفعل لم تخيب الرواية ظني
فيتناول فيها بنشلي عالم الأحياء البحرية و الصيد الجائر في منطقة بحر كورتيز
أو خليج كاليفورنيا

أحببت بطلة الرواية "بالوما" كثيرا وحسدتها على قدراتها على التواصل مع الكائنات البحرية وعلاقتها بحدأة البحر

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Nov 18, 2014 Feliks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-american
Another one of those little-known, unsung books which separate thugs who read for sensational, predictable. mainstream thrills ...from human beings who read with their full senses and full sensitivity.

One colossal idiot in this book's review history was asinine enough to posit that Peter Benchley was 'coasting on his family rep'. Are you kidding me? Are there any blue ribbons left (in this era ruled by dunces) for this kind of astounding imbecility? Peter Benchley ...coasting? Harvard grad, Wash
Emme Greer
Apr 29, 2008 Emme Greer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I only listed the most recent date I read this, but I have read it many, many times, starting in the 4th grade. It is without doubt, my favorite book. It reads very fast, being simple and without unnecessary fluff. I am currently reading it (slowly) to my six year old because I feel the messages held within are important and something I want her to know. Put it this way, it is because of this book that I will someday have a tattoo of a manta ray.
بسام عبد العزيز
اندهش دائما من قدرة الإنسان اللانهائية على تبرير اي فعل من أفعاله مهما كان لاأخلاقيا!
اندهش دائما من وجود أسباب "خارجية" لا نستطيع التحكم فيها هي السبب في كل فسادنا..
تارة المجتمع..
تارة القدر..
تارة الإله..
تارة العائلة..
تارة الحاجة..
تارة الخوف..

وننسى .. أو نتناسى.. السبب الوحيد لأفعالنا..
أننا مجرد فاسدون بطبيعتنا!

بينشلي يقدم لنا قصة غاية في البساطة.. و مع ذلك غاية في الإبهار مع بعد إنساني عميق لا يحاول بينشلي أن يصل به إلى درجة الافتعال..

بالوما الفتاة المحبة للطبيعة.. العاشقة للبحر.. تصطدم بأخيه
Don Murphy
Take one part "The Pearl", mix with equal part "Island of the Blue Dolphin". What do you get? One suck-ass novel! Not the best, and definitely not his best (does he have a best?). So far, it seems that he's going on the reputation of his grandfather and father.
Characters were pretty thin. As with both of his other novels which I just finished, the characters are stagnate also. The plot is threadbare and tossed through a plot-creating device.
A girl can swim! Wait, she can talk to the fish, too,
Shahera Mostafa
Jul 20, 2015 Shahera Mostafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بالوما..البطلة الصغيرة كما أطلقت عليها..
بالوما وأخوها نموذجين للخير والشر..فهي مسالمة جداً وهو عدواني جداً..
أحببت بالوما جداً جداً..كرهت أخوها وأصدقائه جداً جداً..فهم شخصيات مستفزة تثير الغضب..
أحببت في بالوما حبها للبحر وكائناته..أحببت معلوماتها الكثيرة عن البحر..أحببت رفقها بالكائنات البحرية..أحببت ما فعتله مع الحدأة الجريحة..أحببت شجاعتها وتآلفها مع عالم البحر وعدم خوفها منه..
أحببتها لدرجة جعلتني لا أرغب سوي في قراءة الأجزاء التي تتحدث عنها فقط..
أكثر الفصول التي أحببتها بشدة..الفصل الذي تحدث ع
Michael Giuliano
Jun 13, 2015 Michael Giuliano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really want to bump this up to 4.5, because it was pretty close to perfect.

What Peter Benchley did to demonize the ocean and its inhabitants in Jaws and Beast, he equally romanticizes it in The Girl of the Sea of Cortez. This is Benchley's love letter to the sea.

Short and simple, Benchley tells the tale of Paloma, who tries to live by the morals and lifestyle set by her free-spirited (and now deceased) father, while trying to stand her ground against her pigheaded and vengeful younger brother
Jan 11, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary and I are reading this book right now. I told her I'd read it to her when she turned twelve. She convinced me to read it to her now (she's nine). I read the book years ago, along with The Deep, by the same author. I think Mary identifies with Paloma, the girl in this story. Maybe this will lead to an actual trip to the Sea of Cortez with Mary.

Update: We finished reading this tonight. Mary loved it. I loved it. This is one of those stories that contains so much background and foundational in
Oct 07, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely lovely story of a courageous young girl and the father she loves dearly. A far cry from "Jaws", Benchley surprised me with his tenderness.
If I could I would give this 2.5 stars. I didn't dislike it but I wouldn't say I liked it. I was really disappointed. The majority of this book was spent telling stories of the past, some having little to do with the current story going on. Also there were things constantly talked about that COULD happen if this or that happened, which I found extremely boring and irrelevant. Some of those things were partially relevent but did he need to spend 2-3 pages talking about something that is not actua ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
A simple, heartfelt "love letter to the sea" -- as another reviewer so quaintly put it -- by the writer who brought us Jaws. The story here is about a teenage girl with a kind of otherworldly connection to the ocean and those that live within it. The villians here are not giant sharks, or even the colossal manta ray depicted on the cover, but humans who pillage the sea of its resources.

For readers who never feel quite so at peace as when they are out on, or in, the water, this is the book for y
Elizabeth Kuehne
I loved this book as a young girl, and rereading it as a grown woman, I realize that it has never lost its hold on me. I was captivated, and flew through the pages, longing for the ability to swim with the fish once again. Now I know why I have always wanted to do and study certain things in life. I loved it all over again.
Brooke L Kuhlman
Lovely. I enjoyed the inspiration for the book almost as much as the novel.

This is a beautiful story taking place in one of my favorite places. The description of the Sea of Cortez was extremely accurate. The descriptions of Paloma's free dives take you there.
Amber Blevins
Jan 09, 2016 Amber Blevins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, classics
This book was clearly written by the author as a beautiful love letter to the sea. I don't think I'll ever be able to properly articulate how much I adore this story, so all I'll say is if you're considering whether or not to give it a try please do!
Cher Johnson
Mar 13, 2014 Cher Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good young adult novel. I enjoyed it as much as I did because I read it while staying on a pristine beach way down on the Sea of Cortez. Also has a bit of magic realism.
Maria Dosal
Sep 03, 2015 Maria Dosal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this book up for free in Alaska at a book drop and absolutely fell in love. I really related to Paloma and enjoyed every single page.
Charles M.
Very surealistic tale about some girl diving into the depths of the sea and confronting dangers, etc. Not one of Benchley's better efforts.
Jan 01, 2015 Cayleigh rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This book has beautiful imagery, word pictures that take you straight to the sea, and all it has to offer in beauty and wonder underneath the waves. I grew up next to the beach, and it took me back there and made a fierce craving for the ocean swell up in me. Wonderful!

In the story, a young girl Paloma is in love with the sea and the beauty of it. Her slightly younger brother, and most of the island's inhabitants though fear the sea and only use it for the food/profit to be gotten from it. The
Hank Debardeleben
Apr 13, 2014 Hank Debardeleben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this back in the 80's and found it to be quite enjoyable.
Emily Flagstad
Dec 09, 2014 Emily Flagstad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as GREAT of a book thirty years after I first read this! A truly wonderful book.
Mona Randall
One of my favorite books.
Kathy Taylor
Mar 29, 2014 Kathy Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorites.
Joni Holland
Jan 18, 2016 Joni Holland rated it liked it
Sarah Lameche
Feb 28, 2014 Sarah Lameche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
This app keeps losing my reviews aggh. To condense what I had written, this is a story about a girl with two great loves. Her father and the sea. Her brother on the other hand only sees the sea as a way of making money and doesn't realise or care about the harm he may be doing. I have probably read this book over twenty times as a child and an adult. It has a great message just as relevant today as back then and it gave me a great love for Manta Rays.
This enchanting story spoke to the deepest parts of my soul. It ended much too quickly.
Jan 21, 2016 Ashley marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Own in hardback. One book in a book of 3.

FS: "The girl lay on the surface of the sea, looking into the water through a mask, and she was afraid."

LS: "She stopped thinking, and she looked at the spot in the sky where soon the moon would rise and hang like an amulet and cast its golden path on the water, and she smiled and said aloud, Thank you."
Apr 27, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't remember exactly how long it's been since I read this book. I think I'll have to get it from the library and reread. I remember how much I enjoyed the story of a young girl and a gentle manta ray...gentle until the girl was threatened by a bull big brother!
Takes place in Mexico.
Melissa Robertson
This was another one of those books I just picked up in the school library and did not expect to enjoy at first. The imagery was just so beautiful. It made me wish I could be swimming with the giant rays just like she did, even though I would be terrified!
Bonnie Demarchi
Feb 11, 2014 Bonnie Demarchi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
A beautiful story about nature and the sea. Magical. I kept thinking Paloma might morph into a sea creature.
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Peter Bradford Benchley was an American author best known for writing the novel Jaws and co-writing the screenplay for its highly successful film adaptation. The success of the book led to many publishers commissioning books about mutant rats, rabid dogs and the like threatening communities. The subsequent film directed by Steven Spielberg and co-written by Benchley is generally acknowledged as th ...more
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