Concise and still thorough, this is a solid addition to a wide-ranging and ecologically conscious series.




From the Orca Footprints series

A passionate environmentalist explains why oceans are amazing and what young readers can do to keep them that way.

In her first book for young readers, novelist and biologist Eriksson connects her audience to the oceans around the world, describes current threats, suggests general ways to help, and offers specific examples of ways to “be an ocean hero.” The book’s four short chapters feature frequent subheadings, sidebars—her personal connections (labeled “My Marine Life”); paragraphs of “Ocean Facts”; and invitations for personal involvement (labeled “Make a Splash!”)—and small photographs. The author and publisher have made an effort to include images of people from around the world, including First Nations neighbors harvesting clams in front of the writer’s waterfront home on Thetis Island in British Columbia. (The author herself is white.) Opening with quotations from Dr. Sylvia Earle and ecologist Barry Commoner, she makes clear the importance of water in human lives. Her examples of ocean overload are sobering, but she concludes her list of challenges with the reminder that “Change = Opportunity” and devotes more than half her pages to appropriate actions, many within reach of kids, toward ocean rescue. For readers old enough to cope with the bad news, the range of suggestions will be welcome. Her organization makes sense, and the exposition is clear and often directly addressed to the reader.

Concise and still thorough, this is a solid addition to a wide-ranging and ecologically conscious series. (resources, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1586-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.



Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...



The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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