Written for children between the ages 0f 9-14, A Place for Delta is the story of Joseph, an 11 year old boy who is asked by his aunt Kate Morse to come to Barrow, Alaska to help care for an orphaned polar bear cub, Delta. Off course, he jumps at the chance and with his parents permission, he spent the entire summer in a scientific research centre, really a shack, in the Arctic.
This story in not just a cute animal story for kids. It has several layers that has appeal for adults as well. It is a multi-generational story of the Morse family and weaves together a plot of mystery, global warming, politics, love, and friendship.
While in Barrow, Joseph becomes friends with Ada and together they investigate how Delta became orphaned. They finally bring the information they gather to the adults and get help. It becomes clear that the oil companies are somehow involved.
by Richard Walker in A Place for Delta (c) 2010
Winner of the 2010 International Book Award for best Children’s Fiction, A Place for Delta is destined to become a classic, with rich illustrations by Richard Walker of drawing and wood cuts and simple yet elegant writing by Melissa Walker. Walker uses a well developed story and plot without the more modern devices such as witches and vampires. It is the kind of book that I read and loved as a child. Now, as an adult, I loved this story and it will stay with me for a long time.
Melissa Walker has been a Professor of English at the University of New Orleans and Mercer University and a Fellow in Women’s Studies at Emory University. She’s a vocal advocate for civil rights and for wilderness. Her previous books include Reading the Environment (W.W.Norton, 1994) and Living on Wilderness Time: 200 Days Alone in America’s Wild Places (Univ. of Va. Press, 2002). She lives with her husband Jerome in Atlanta and spends much of the summer in Alaska.
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