Friday Five Challenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, pour yourself a coffee…..and have a browse


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Before I’d got very far in my search for children’s books (I’m starting to build up a little library for my grandson), this one caught my attention…

Whythe WhalesCame

The book description reads…

An exciting adventure from Britain’s best-loved children’s author and the man behind War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

Gracie and her friend Daniel have always been warned to stay away from the Birdman and his side of the island. But then they find a message in the sand and discover the Birdman is not who they thought. They build up a lovely friendship with him, but when the children get stranded on Samson Island they don’t know whether to believe the birdman’s story that the island is cursed. Set on a remote island against the backdrop of World War I this story will captivate and delight young readers.

Former Children’s Laureate and award-winning author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, again demonstrates why he is considered to be the master story teller with yet another of his beautifully crafted war stories for children.

Sounds great and I love the split cover image with the whale’s tail fluke rising out of the ocean, set against the mysterious looking solitary figure by the old shack. That and the title made me want to find out more. I’ve read a couple of Michael Morpurgo’s books and enjoyed them. I particularly love War Horse and Born to Run. Why the Whales Came is not a new book, the second edition was published in 2011, but it seems the original hard cover was published in 1990. Still, I don’t think that would be an issue as it’s historical fiction anyway. Michael Morpurgo has an impressive list of books to his credit and has won several literary awards.

The kindle edition is £2.40/$3.64 for 192 pages, but I’d want the paperback, which is £5.99 or from £0.01 new from other sellers! There’s a £2.80 delivery charge but nevertheless, a great price.  There are 89 customer reviews which work out at 4.7* out of 5* There are only 5 reviews under 4* one of which very unhelpfully repeats ‘no comment’ four times! Another because the wrong edition was sent. Neither are valid reviews so can be discounted.

One of the most positive reviewers, Sam Owen, says…The story is set on the island of Bryher (in the Isles of Scilly) during the First World War. The main characters are Gracie and Daniel who are carefree and able to explore the island around them. However, life on the island is hard for the adults. There is an old man called the Birdman who has disabilities that makes people suspicious of him. The children have been warned not to go near him, but when mysterious messages appear in the sand, their paths are destined to cross.
Why the Whales Came is an imaginative, yet realistic story, full of mystery and friendship.
The first chapter is a bit slow but don’t let that put you off – over all it’s a FAB book!

On Amazon US the book rates 4.3* The only critical review was someone who obviously bought from another seller and was complaining about the condition of the book.

I had a minute or so left so I took advantage of the ‘look inside’ feature which sealed my decision.

So, will I BUY or Pass? I’ll BUY! I think it’ll make a great addition to the younger section of my bookshelves 😉 and I’ll more than likely enjoy reading it myself.

If you’d like to enter next week’s challenge, and the more the merrier, check out Rosie’s blog to read about the Friday Five Challenge.

More Friday Five Challenge choices….

Rosie finds a Cobra in the Bath ~ a travel memoir

Shelley chose a YA romance

Barb is calculating the cost of having a baby

Bev goes for science fiction

18 thoughts on “Friday Five Challenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo

  1. Pingback: BUY or PASS? Young Adult Romance #FridayFiveChallenge | Shelley Wilson

  2. Pingback: Would You BUY or PASS? #FridayFiveChallenge Cobra In The Bath by Miles Morland | Rosie Amber

  3. He’s a great author and one you can rely on for a good story. I like the split cover too, slightly different from lots of covers out there and it gives the reader more of an image of the book. A BUY from me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have loved the Michael Morpurgo books that I have read Cathy and just as a tip I chose Private Peaceful for the Brilliant Books talk I did last year and those good folk at Empleo found a whole collection of books – I’ve just checked, 20 of them for £20 from The Book People – they are really great books for kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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