Jean Craighead George's 'Ice Whale' will be posthumously released this April

George's children and editor worked together to ready the novel for publication.

'Ice Whale' is by Jean Craighead George.

Before her death in 2012, “My Side of the Mountain” and "Julie of the Wolves" author Jean Craighead George was working on a children’s novel titled “Ice Whale,” which follows the relationship between a bowhead whale and Eskimos in Alaska.

And now readers will get to peruse what may be the legendary children’s author’s last work, with “Whale” set to be released on April 3, according to the publisher. George’s children Twig George and Craig George worked with the author’s editor Lucia Monfried to finish the novel and ready it for publication.

Monfried told Publishers Weekly how Jean Craighead George had already worked with Craig George on the book – Craig George is a biologist and his mother had wanted to discuss the science of the book with him. Meanwhile, Twig George is a writer herself.

“I didn’t need to convince them,” Monfried said of Jean Craighead George’s children. “I knew they would want to do this for their mother.”

Craig George told PW that he remembered when his mother came up with the idea for “Whale.” He had shared with her that he had found out that bowhead whales could live for 200 years.

“That’s all Mom needed to hear for her to spin a story around it,” he said. “She had the idea of following a bowhead through seven or eight generations of a family.”

Twig George said she found working on the book with Craig and Monfried to be a great experience.

“We tried to keep Mom’s words whenever possible – her descriptions are so beautiful,” she told PW. “She was amazing, and working on her book was like being with her again.”

“Whale” will be released by Dial Books for Young Readers.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Jean Craighead George's 'Ice Whale' will be posthumously released this April
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today