The Great White Shark Scientist (Scientists in the Field)
by Sy Montgomery; Photographs by Keith Ellenbogen
HMH Books for Young Readers (June 7, 2016)
Audience: Grades 5 to 7
Nonfiction * Animals * Marine Life
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
Dr. Greg Skomal, biologist and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, is investigating a controversial possibility: Might Cape Cod’s waters serve as a breeding ground for the great white shark, the largest and most feared predatory fish on Earth? Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen report on this thrilling turning point in marine research and travel to Guadeloupe, Mexico, to get up close and personal with the sharks. This daring expedition into the realm of great whites shows readers that in order to save the planet and its creatures, we must embrace our humanity and face our greatest fears.
My thoughts on the book:
One of my favorite nonfiction series is the Scientists in the Field series. There are currently over forty books in the series on a range of topics. I have to admit that I am a bit partial to the marine life books in the series. Last year, Sy Montgomery had The Octopus Scientists book which I fell in love with. Her current book is still connected to the ocean, The Great White Shark Scientist.
Here is a video of Sy Montgomery talking about her newest book and some of her older ones:
In typical fashion of the Scientist in the Field series, the book focuses on a particular scientist. In this case, Greg Skomal, a great white shark biologist, takes center stage. Another focus of the book is on the importance of understanding the needs of the great whites and their importance to understanding the needs of the ocean.
Montgomery takes readers into the lives of the biologists studying great whites but also into the lives of individual sharks who have names, personalities, and are tagged and followed through a site like Ocearch.org (see below).
Montgomery begins the story of great whites on the coast off of Massachusetts, but takes readers on a trip to Guadalupe Island off of the coast of Mexico. Here, readers experience what it is like to go down in a cage to get a more close up look at the great whites. For young readers who love sharks, this book provides them with great information to better understand these incredible creatures. For others, who are new to sharks, the stories and information will draw them in.
At the end of the book, Montgomery includes a variety of resources including information on being "Shark Smart", Shark Maps, bibliography, web resources, and index. One of the resources Ocearch provides real-time telemetry.
For more about the Scientists in the Field Series, click here.
Look for Sy Montgomery's newest book, The Great White Shark, at your local indie bookstore or public library.
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