Groundwood Books

Avis Dolphin

Written by Frieda Wishinsky • Illustrated by Willow Dawson

For readers 9 - 12 years old | Published March 25, 2015 | ISBN 9781554984909
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Europe

Cover of Avis Dolphin

Regular price $14.95 CAD

128 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

Avis Dolphin

Frieda Wishinsky • Willow Dawson

Avis Dolphin doesn’t want to leave Canada and sail to England on the Lusitania. War is raging in Europe, and the Germans threaten to sink the ship. Avis is lonely and afraid until she meets a kindly professor whose stories of a magical island help her face an uncertain future.

When the Lusitania is attacked, Avis must draw on all her newfound strength to cope with the confusion, terror and despair. How can she survive the sudden devastation of the ship? Will the people she cares about, especially the professor, live through the horror and danger?

The immediacy of Frieda Wishinsky’s voice will engage readers in this thrilling story based on real events. They will identify with Avis and Professor Holbourn as they grapple with a stubborn captain, encounter German stowaways and contend with the feud between Avis’s two cabin mates. Set against a background of growing anxiety, readers will be glued to the dramatic unfolding events and the surprising fate of the people they have come to know.

Willow Dawson’s art depicts the stories the professor tells Avis in enchanting graphic-novel form. They provide a riveting magical element to the story, creating a story-within-a-story.

Like Avis, readers will fall in love with Foula and will dream of the island long after they have reached the last page of this exciting story.

About the Creators

Frieda Wishinsky

Frieda Wishinsky is the award-winning author of more than sixty books, including picture books, novels and non-fiction, which have been translated into many languages. Each One Special, illustrated by Werner Zimmerman, was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award, and Please, Louise! illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. More recently, Frieda has written the novel Avis Dolphin, illustrated by Willow Dawson, and A History of Just about Everything with Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Qin Leng. Frieda grew up in Manhattan and has always loved crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. She now lives in Toronto.

Willow Dawson

Award winning author and illustrator Willow Dawson’s books include Ghost Limb, Hyena in Petticoats, The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea with Helaine Becker, Lila and Ecco’s Do-It-Yourself Comics Club, No Girls Allowed with Susan Hughes, and the upcoming The Wolf-Birds. Her books have been supported by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Willow Dawson also teaches Creating Comics and Graphic Novels at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She lives in Toronto.

Awards and Praise
Together, Frieda Wishinsky and Willow Dawson tell an incredible story of unlikely friendship, travelling during wartime, and, most importantly, hope.
  • Short-listed The Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, Children's/Young Adult, 2016
  • Short-listed Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 2016
  • Commended CCBC Best Books for Children and Teens, 2016