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TRACKING TRASH by Loree Griffin Burns Kirkus Star

TRACKING TRASH

Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion

By Loree Griffin Burns

Age Range: 11 - 16

Pub Date: March 26th, 2007
ISBN: 0-618-58131-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

This entry in the exemplary Scientists in the Field series uses the work of Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer and others tracking trash circulating through the Pacific Ocean to introduce readers to the science of ocean motion. Opening with an explanation of ocean currents and their role in distributing five containers of Nike sneakers that fell overboard in 1990, the author goes on to introduce Ebbesmeyer and his work. Interspersed are short sections explaining longitude and latitude; waves, tides, currents and gyres; and the plankton that share the surface currents. Maps and varied color photos support the text, printed on a background of appropriately patterned paper. Step by step, the reader of this engaging description of research involving familiar objects like tub toys and LEGO pieces comes to the profoundly depressing realization that the oceans of the world and the stomachs of marine animals are filled with indestructible bits of human trash, just in time for the section entitled, “What You Can Do.” Endmatter includes an inviting list of books and websites to explore. (glossary, bibliographic notes, index) (Nonfiction. 11-16)