Plastic Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

photos by Annie Crawley. 48p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Apr. 2014. RTE $30.60. ISBN 9781467712835; ebk. $22.95. ISBN 9781467725415. LC 2013017773.
Gr 4–8—This intriguing book informs readers about the overconsumption of plastic with an even distribution of facts, progress, and helpful ways to reduce reliance on plastic. The Great Garbage Patch consists of debris from water sources that feed into the Pacific Ocean. Discovered in 1997, it was formed through millions, or perhaps billions, of plastic pieces. Through meeting three young people involved in the project, readers gain a personal connection to the project, which included three weeks of examining samples of plastic and ocean organisms to discover the effects of plastic on marine life. "Ocean Science" tidbits elaborate on scientists' research tools, marine life food chain, and survival of sea animals. The team's adjustment to ship life and descriptions of how they spent their free time, their sleeping quarters, and meals add enjoyable personal touches. Pictures and maps are clean, colorful, and annotated. Information boxes explore further scientific topics, such as how the crew applied the scientific method in order to frame their research. The balance between text, graphics, and photographs is ideal. Emphasis on scientists needing help from children and adults in order to solve the problem of plastics killing ocean life empowers readers, as do tips for reducing personal reliance on plastics. Source notes, glossary, and sources for further information are included. Recommended for all general collections needing an attractive and informative look at the environmental effect of plastics that encourages young readers to take meaningful and doable action.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA
Here readers travel to the Pacific Garbage Patch with three graduate-student scientists as they try to determine the effect of plastics on the sea. There's solid explanation of their hypotheses and research, and emphasis on the researchers' experiences lends a personal feel. Questions of how plastic may harm the oceans, its inhabitants, and even humans encourage further inquiry. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.

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