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.