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The Longest Whale Song
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The Longest Whale Song

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,214 ratings  ·  87 reviews
A tender and gentle story that will captivate readers of 8+ from bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson.

Ella's mum's in a deep coma having just had a new baby. That means Ella has to live with Jack, her hopeless stepfather and cope with her tiny newborn brother, as well as worrying about Mum. The only thing that's going right is her school project. It's all about whales and...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Doubleday Childrens (first published 2010)
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Amos & Boris by William SteigThe Snail and the Whale by Julia DonaldsonFergus and the Whale by J.W. NobleIf You Want to See a Whale by Julie FoglianoA Whale Who Dreamt of a Snail by William Heimbach
Picture Books About Whales
23rd out of 36 books — 3 voters
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Red Dot 2014-2015: OLDER Longlist
30th out of 37 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,936)
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Ann Marron
This is a brilliant book. Narrated in the first person by Ella, it is the story of a snapshot of her life and how she struggles to cope when her mum falls ill. Ella is left with her stepdad, Jack, who she does not like and refuses to get on with. The issues of family life and bullying are dealt with in a simple yet very efficient manner by Wilson. The one fault I found is that I felt it ended too abruptly, which results in the reader feeling that the story is unfinished. It would have been nice...more
Weird book. It actually talks about whales for a total of not even 2 pages. The rest of the story is something completely different, and the role of the whales in it could have been taken by cats, dogs, dolphins, or any other mammal who has a voice and makes sounds.
If the purpose was to get kids interested in whales I think the book does a very poor job because the whales are absolutely marginal to the story line, which involves a girl whose mom is in the hospital, and so all the emotions tied...more
My 10 year old self: This is a great book! It's about a normal, young girls life, but when her mother comes down with a sickness, things are everything but normal. Through the journey, friends are lost and made, bullies make everything bad, a baby brother is delivered into the world, after school club takes place, and a whale project is made.
Oy, my heart.

This is a beautiful, highly emotional middle-grade story about a girl whose mother slips into a coma while giving birth to her half-brother. Suddenly this girl, Ella, must cope with the absence and illness of her mother, a new baby brother, and being under the primary care of her stepfather (who she's pretty sure she doesn't like).

This is pretty much Heartbeat but for middle-grade. And British. And published first.

My heart got completely wound up in Ella and her stepdad, Jack, as...more
Oy vey, the feels! The poor heroine just can't catch a break. I'm sure it's meant to be a very realistic story, but poor Ella gets the worst of everything a child could go through: when her mom falls into a coma after giving birth, Ella is forced to start getting along with her stepdad; at school she deals with one bully, and also the loss of her best friend - and when she starts to gain a new best friend, she has qualms because it's a boy! I know I would have loved to have read this when I was...more
I am currently reading it and think it is amazing! I love how Jacqueline has set it out, I think its perfect and would reccomend it to anyone!!
Ms. Yingling
Ella adores her mother, a teacher, and isn't thrilled about her stepfather Jack being in the picture. She is even more concerned that the expected baby will take even more time away from her. When her mother suffers from eclampsia and ends up in a coma after delivering her brother Samson, Ella and her stepfather are at a loss as to what to do. Samson stays in the hospital for a while, but eventually has to come home. The two manage to find a babysitter while Jack and Ella are off at school, but...more
This is the 4th book I’ve read by this British author, recently introduced to US readers. It is a contemporary novel, suitable for middle grade readers, unlike the Hetty Feather series, set in the past. The story begins with Ella, the main character, and her mother practicing breathing for the coming birth of Ella’s new step-sibling. This young girl has had lots of adjustments in recent months, new stepfather (father is rarely around), new house (but she gets to stay in her old school), and now...more
When Ella's mum goes into a coma after the birth of Ella's half brother, Ella has to deal with living with her stepfather, changing friendships and the uncertainty as to whether her mother will ever wake up.

A lot of the reviews I've seen say that this isn't a book about whales at all, but I disagree. Whales, and learning about them, are Ella's way of coping with everything that's happening to her. I mean, sure, Ella could have easily focused on, let's say, wolves or deer instead, but Jacqueline...more
Rebecca Stonehill
If I could do halves, I would give this book 4 and a half stars. The book is about a girl who's mum is having a baby and the labour doesn't work out that well so she has to go to hospital and ends up staying there for ages. The girl keeps sending her letters and once, she sends a letter all about whales and she wrote 'Did you know mum that the longest song ever sung (by a whale) went up to twenty-three hours!

(Review by Maya, age 8, Rebecca's daughter)
THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a book about A girl called Ella. Her mum just had her step brother. She went into a coma. So she has to live with her stepdad. She loses her best friend over the time that her mum is in a coma. But she manges to find love in whales. Will her mum ever wake up or will she be in a coma for ever.

This is my favorite book and I have read a lot of books...more
Ursula Clancy
I enjoyed this because it was a different style of writing and it didn't follow JW's same pattern about the dad leaving and the mum having loads of boyfriends or whatever. this was different, interesting and sad. Very well written.
Leonora Etonyeaku
Feb 04, 2013 Leonora Etonyeaku rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Leonora by: No-one. Just chose it from the library
I really love this book. Just finished reading it 3 weeks ago. It's about this young girl in primary school, and her parents are divorced. Her mom is pregnant by her step-dad. She hates her step-dad he swears sometimes. Her mother is in the hospital and she's in a coma. Her step-brother, who she loves a lot, is in the hospital for long. Her friend Sally is becoming friends with another girl and she has a fight with sally's new best-friends' old best-friend, but they become half friends later on....more
Paula Rochford
Aug 05, 2011 Paula Rochford rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10+
The longest Whale song By Jacqueline Wilson inspired me in so many ways i can not explain.It makes you see how lucky you are in life and how life has its ups and its down. It is my favorite book i have ever read. Its about a young girl who's parents have split up. She hardly ever gets to see her real father and her mother has remarried. Ella does not like her step-father and she doesn't like that her mother is pregnant. When her mother goes too have the baby she goes into a deep coma. Ella is le...more
Caitlin England
I adore Jacqueline Wilson and this is one of my faves.
Abena Abban
i feel that the ending was too abrupt.
Basically this book is all about friendship, love, loyalty and best of all hope.
you can always imagin this book when you read it (like i did). so this book is all about this girl called ella and her mum oneday sitting in her bedroom when her mum went into labour. After her mum had the babby she fell into a deep sleep for some time. As you go on through this book you can see how her life is going wrong with family and friends, but it all gets better.
I still vet my kid's books and read them first before I read it to them. I was a bit worried that this one would be too sad, but actually in the end it's a story about coping with catastrophe, about hope and friendship, and also about checking if your judgements about people are actually fair. There isn't a lot about Whales, but there is a cracking story line and great characters that you like, love and cheer on. I read it in one go, it was that good.
Jodie Taylor
Many people think this book is really babyish but if you read it you probably wouldn't think that!This book is great because it has drama and real life things that might happen!This book is quite depressing , when you get to the end you think its going to be a bad ending but it really int right till the end!!!! please read this book because I clearly think that Jacqueline Wilson is a great author! read read read!

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Hettie Farmer
lovely story
recommend to anyone
"The Longest Whale Song" by Jacqueline Wilson is an amazing book. It's about a girl named Ella who's mum is in a deep coma after just having a new baby. So Ella has to live with Jack, her horrible stepfather. At school, she has a project and it's all about whales and how they sing out to each other to attract a mate. Ella is a really strong and courageous girl. Jacqueline Wilson is a fantastic author and I love all her books.
Chloe Childs
Mar 07, 2011 Chloe Childs rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bored teens
Shelves: english-reviews
i decided to read this book because i got it for christmas. this completes the box 'a book written by a female'. i liked this book because it was surprizingly factual. it had lots of facts about whales but it was false story. insane. some parts of this story were quite sad but some were funny and exciting. i would recommend to anyone, although it is quite a long one.
Genevieve Austin
This book is one of love and..... peace you could say. Ella's mum has just had a new baby. His name is Samson. When Ella's mum falls into a deep coma, Ella downloads whale music onto her iPod for her mother. Meanwhile she is left in the care of her hopeless stepfather, Jack. This story is heartwarming and lovely to read.
This is such a great and moving book. The only down about this book is there is so much information about whales in some parts, you just want it to move on and carry on about her mum, stepdad and the baby. It's a really good book, I would recommend this 12-15 year olds, and I give this a 4 star rating.
Ella woodhouse
i aboustly olve this book it is wonderful. The main charecter is Ella her mum is pregnent then get a disies and she goes in to a comma after she has had her baby. Ellas stepdad is Jack she hates him. i dont know what happens after that but i am nearly at the end.

By Ella Woodhouse.
I really liked this, and I think part of that is due to the fact there was a strong male adult in one of Jacquline Wilson's books for once! I enjoyed watching Ella and Jack learn to live with one another, and also I liked the development of friendships with her classmates.
Loved the story a lot, It got so much better as it went along and Ella is my favorite character in the book as she was so brave as she tried to get through each day bit by and bit and she never forget about her mum. The ending was really happy too and i liked that.
This was a beautiful book with a sweet ending. I cried at the end of this book and remember it well. I do not think it is worthy of 5 stars just because now I am older I look back at it and think that the plot could have been laid out better and in a bit more detail.
This was an enjoyable book that I read my 7 year old just a tad slow in places.
To be honest I thought her mum wasn't going to get better and then she got better on the second to last page!!!!!!!!!! I loved it
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the longest whale story 4 12 Apr 21, 2013 06:18PM  
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Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was nine, filling in countless Woolworths’ exercise books as she grew up. As a teenager she started work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine (which she was told was named af...more
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