November 17, 2017

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The Great White Shark Scientist by Sy Montgomery | SLJ Review

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 redstarMontgomery, Sy. The Great White Shark Scientist. photos by Keith Ellenbogen. 80p. (Scientists in the Field Series). bibliog. index. websites. HMH. Jun. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780544352988. POPThe Great White Shark Scientist

Gr 5-8 –Prepare to be enveloped in saltwater air and dizzying blue water in this latest entry from veteran author Montgomery. A tense opening line delivered by 52-year-old great white shark biologist Greg Skomal is sure to hook readers: “It’s pretty treacherous right here.” But as they will soon discover, for Skomal and team, the even greater danger is not seeing a great white at all. Montgomery deftly balances information and intrigue without delving into the sensational; the emphasis is always on providing unique insight into the fieldwork of scientists and the absolute patience and perseverance it takes to locate, identify, gather, and analyze scientific data under challenging circumstances. Her travels with Skomal and her journey into a shark cage with biologist Erick Higuera are evidence of a genuine interest in understanding great whites and reversing negative attitudes about them. Readers will come to learn that the perceived danger surrounding sharks does not always match reality (the prime example offered being the astounding number of Americans injured by toilets in comparison to shark-related deaths in a year) and that these creatures are in desperate need of quality protection and conservation efforts. Ellenbogen’s crystal clear photographs range from intimate shots of crew members and aquatic life to large aerial overviews of the inlets and waters they are sailing on—students will be sure to stop and linger over these gorgeous images. VERDICT Exceptionally written and highly recommended for those looking to give a timely summer boost to STEM collections.–Della Farrell, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2016 issue.

Della Farrell About Della Farrell

Della Farrell is an Assistant Editor at School Library Journal and Editor of Series Made Simple

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