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Jennings, Richard W.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
IL 3-6, RL 5.8
ISBN 0618102280
A precocious eleven year old boy in Melville, Kansas, (the geographic center of the country), stares down into the hole he has just dug at what appears to be a fossil of a prehistoric fish.  He really just wanted a hole for his reflecting pond; the kit was a birthday gift from his parents.  Being intrigued, he digs deeper only to discover that another larger aquatic beast has eaten the smaller one.  Convinced it is a whale, (a whale in Kansas?) he finds his "find" the subject of controversy and a battle for ownership.

Surrounded by a cast of supportive and non supportive adult characters, and one duck who is a great listener, the boy perseveres in his desire to claim the great whale, the book ends with a court room scene and a Native American burial ceremony.  The Great Whale of Kansas is a quirky, thought provoking commentary on the meaning of fame and authority.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

SUBJECTS:     Fossils -- Fiction.
                        Prehistoric animals -- Fiction.
                        Whales -- Fiction.
                        Kansas -- Fiction.


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