Middle grade and older students who are interested in science have it so good these days, with new books like Journey Into The Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures by Rebecca L. Johnson. Readers learn about cutting edge science, view glorious full-color photographs of creatures never seen before, and get glimpses into the lives of scientists at work. It is so appropriate for kids at an age where they are getting ready to explore their world, as well as starting to think about their career options. This book is sure to inspire everyone to want to study marine biology.
Journey Into The Deep is an overview of the Census of Marine Life, a world-wide effort (carried out from 2000 to 2010) to survey, count, and investigate all the living things in the ocean. Johnson describes where and how the searches were carried out, and describes in detail some of the exciting findings. As of the time the book was published, the participating scientists had found some 5,600 new species, from tiny and colorful lobsters to zombie worms that feed on bones without the benefit of having mouths or stomachs. (The zombie worms are actually a lovely, delicate pink color, so zombie may be a bit of a misnomer.) You just have to see the photographs of these new creatures. They are amazing!
As an example of the level of thought that went into this book, the pages start with light blue hues in the background, symbolizing the color of the water at shallow depths. As your get “deeper” into the book, the page backgrounds darken, until they are black with white text. It is subtle, but adds to the effect that you are right there with the scientists exploring the ocean depths.
Tucked in sidebars are things that any individual can do to help the oceans, and information how you can become a scientist who studies the oceans. And believe me, after reading this book you are going to want to become an ocean scientist, because it is so inspiring. Pick up a copy and see for yourself!
This short video from National Geographic gives you an idea what the Census of Marine Life is all about.
Journey Into The Deep is nominated for a 2010 Cybils award in the MG/YA nonfiction category.
Discussion Guide at Lerner Books (check right sidebar)
Reading level: Young Adult
Library Binding: 64 pages
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 2010)
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Simply Science.