top of page


Published by Hyperion Books for Children, 1995


Koby can count on nobody - but herself
Nothing has been the same for Koby since she lost her foot in an accident four years ago. Between the smothering concern of her parents and the awkward glances from the kids at school, Koby can truly feel at home only when she is on the ocean in her dinghy, Titmouse. But tonight, when twelve-year-old Koby finds herself stranded in the middle of the dark ocean with two dying pilot whales and an aching "phantom" foot, she can do little more than tremble. The lives of the two whales are literally in Koby's hands and her strength is weakening. There are no rescuers in sight. The ocean is the last place Koby wants to be.


The Creation of Stranded . . .

This story idea came to me when I watched a volunteer organization called the Pod Squad release two pilot whales. There was so much emotion in the release of the whales, Trish and Alex, that I had to try and capture it on paper. This emotion provided the soul of my story.

My research consisted of visiting dolphin research centers, talking with marine biologists, swimming with dolphins, and helping veterinarians care for sick mammals. I spent time with two very special people that had amputated lower legs. They helped me to understand their problems and communicate them with my character Koby.


Available in hard cover, soft cover or audio-book.

"[Stranded] has many of the same elements that made Sparrow Hawk Red (1993) so successful: strong, well-developed characters, an interesting plot in which an engaging main character is repeatedly placed in danger, and an exotic setting so clearly described that readers will feel they have been there to visit."  -Booklist (starred review)


"Mikaelsen . . . knows the first rule of adventure stories for children: put the kid - hero and reader - smack in the middle . . . Koby is a seaworthy heroine who makes things happen."
                   -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Peruse Ben's Other Engaging Stories

bottom of page