A compelling and eye-opening story of the interconnected worlds of humans and dolphins that’s full of engaging detail and...

DOLPHINS

VOICES IN THE OCEAN

In this middle-grade adaptation of Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins (2015), Casey escapes her city life and journeys around the world to better understand how dolphins live, think, and relate to humans.

After experiencing a life-changing swim with dolphins, Casey puts her job on hold and begins researching and writing about cetaceans. The book includes interviews with experts, her experiences traveling the world, and fascinating tidbits, including how dolphins evolved from “mammals that resembled small, hooved wolves.” She encourages readers to delight in the animals’ gifts by highlighting their brain science and complex personalities. With approachable prose and engrossing detail, she describes everything from how a dolphin pod saved a suicidal girl to how their sonar works. Casey is tough on the marine-park industry, poachers, man-made underwater acoustic smog, and humanity’s pollution of the Earth and its waters. She writes explicitly about the slaughter of dolphin populations at the hands of humans, candidly addressing their extermination in Taiji, Japan. The final chapter, on dolphins in Minoan art, is an unsatisfying tangent even though the overall book is a riveting look at the world of dolphins.

A compelling and eye-opening story of the interconnected worlds of humans and dolphins that’s full of engaging detail and vivid language. (acknowledgments, selected bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-0085-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A SHOT IN THE ARM!

From the Big Ideas That Changed the World series , Vol. 3

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) narrates this entry in the Big Ideas That Changed the World series, presenting the story of the development of vaccines.

Lady Mary, an intelligent, lovely White Englishwoman, was infected with smallpox in 1715. The disease left her scarred and possibly contributed to the failure of her marriage, but not before she moved with her husband to the Ottoman Empire and learned there of what came to be called variolation. Inoculating people with an attenuated (hopefully) version of smallpox to cause a mild but immunity-producing spell of the disease was practiced by the Ottomans but remained rare in England until Lady Mary, using her own children, popularized the practice during an epidemic. This graphic novel is illustrated with engaging panels of artwork that broaden its appeal, effectively conveying aspects of the story that extend the enthralling narrative. Taking care to credit innovations in immunology outside of European borders, Brown moves through centuries of thoughtful scientific inquiry and experimentation to thoroughly explain the history of vaccines and their limitless value to the world but also delves into the discouraging story of the anti-vaccination movement. Concluding with information about the Covid-19 pandemic, the narrative easily makes the case that a vaccine for this disease fits quite naturally into eons of scientific progress. Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines.

Essential. (timeline, biographical notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5001-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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