WORLD WITHOUT FISH

The author of Cod (1997) successfully provides readers with a frightening look at the looming destruction of the oceans. Brief sections in graphic-novel format follow a young girl, Ailat, and her father over a couple of decades as the condition of the ocean grows increasingly dire, eventually an orange, slimy mess mostly occupied by jellyfish and leatherback turtles. At the end, Ailat’s young daughter doesn’t even know what the word fish means. This is juxtaposed against nonfiction chapters with topics including types of fishing equipment and the damage each causes, a history of the destruction of the cod and its consequences, the international politics of the fishing industry and the effects of pollution and global warming. The final chapter lists of some actions readers could take to attempt to reverse the damage: not eating certain types of fish, joining environmental groups, writing to government officials, picketing seafood stores that sell endangered fish, etc. Whenever an important point is to be made, font size increases dramatically, sometimes so that a single sentence fills a page—attention-getting but distractingly so. While it abounds with information, sadly, no sources are cited, undermining reliability. Additionally, there are no index and no recommended bibliography for further research, diminishing this effort’s value as a resource. Depressing and scary yet grimly entertaining. (Nonfiction/graphic-novel hybrid. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

BILL NYE'S GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge.

EYE OF THE STORM

NASA, DRONES, AND THE RACE TO CRACK THE HURRICANE CODE

From the Scientists in the Field series

A high-altitude drone built for the Air Force is repurposed to investigate hurricane behavior in a NASA–sponsored project headquartered at Wallops Island, Virginia.

This latest title in a long-running series looks at cutting-edge meteorological research with implications for the billions of people around the world who live in the paths of tropical cyclones. Opening with a chapter about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it goes on to explain hurricane formation and NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission. Cherrix introduces the Global Hawk drone project and describes preparations for a sample flight over the intensifying Hurricane Edouard in 2014. Finally she shows how another tropical storm, the 1970 Bhola cyclone in the Indian Ocean, led to the creation of a new nation, Bangladesh. This is real science, which, as the author points out, takes time—time to amass and analyze data and then to submit and have it vetted before publication. But it doesn’t make for very compelling reading. Readers drawn in by the dramatic cover and opening description of a tragic teen death as a result of Hurricane Sandy may get bogged down in the scientific and engineering detail, which uses appropriate but unfamiliar technical terms and acronyms, defined in context but hard to remember. They may struggle to keep straight the many scientists involved.

Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge. (hurricane preparedness, glossary, chapter notes, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-41165-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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