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The Great White Shark Scientist
Cover of The Great White Shark Scientist
The Great White Shark Scientist
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Dr. Greg Skomal, biologist and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, is investigating a controversial possibility: Might Cape Cod's waters serve as a breeding ground for the great white shark, the largest and most feared predatory fish on Earth?

Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen report on this thrilling turning point in marine research and travel to Guadeloupe, Mexico, to get up close and personal with the sharks. This daring expedition into the realm of great whites shows readers that in order to save the planet and its creatures, we must embrace our humanity and face our greatest fears.

Dr. Greg Skomal, biologist and head of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, is investigating a controversial possibility: Might Cape Cod's waters serve as a breeding ground for the great white shark, the largest and most feared predatory fish on Earth?

Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen report on this thrilling turning point in marine research and travel to Guadeloupe, Mexico, to get up close and personal with the sharks. This daring expedition into the realm of great whites shows readers that in order to save the planet and its creatures, we must embrace our humanity and face our greatest fears.

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  • Available:
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Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.2
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    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    5

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2016
    Shark biologist Greg Skomal and his research team search for great whites in the waters off Cape Cod and Guadalupe in this exciting addition to the Scientists in the Field series. Their quest is as much about finding and tagging new sharks as it is about tracing the movements of old friends: by checking detector buoys that record the presence of tagged sharks, the scientists learn who has been in the area. Aerial photographs show the shadowy shapes of sharks below the waves, and underwater shots taken in Guadalupe reveal sharks surrounding the scientists’ submersible cage. Interspersed between chapters are sections that discuss shark anatomy, behavior, and statistics. Montgomery’s play-by-play narration and Ellenbogen’s dramatic photos give the scientific excursion a thrilling sense of immediacy that should leave readers feeling like they’re along for the voyage. Ages 10–12.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 15, 2016
    "They're laid back. They're calm. They're beautiful." That's shark researcher Greg Skomal's assessment of great whites, the subject of Montgomery's latest entry in the long-running Scientists in the Field series. Here, she invites her readers to appreciate the glory of these much-feared sharks, first through the work of scientists who use video recordings and tags to identify and then track individual sharks who spend summers off Cape Cod, and then with a diving expedition off Guadalupe, Mexico. This acclaimed nature writer's particular strength is that she's not afraid to describe scientific drudge work, giving a rounded picture of what being a field scientist is like. She chooses examples carefully and structures her six smoothly written chapters to build to a crescendo of excitement, going from an unproductive day (and some dull but important safety details) to a very satisfying one and then to an up-close encounter with sharks from the vantage point of a shark cage. Informational segments, including some intriguing facts and surprising statistics, separate each chapter. She picks out details that will engage her middle school readers. Ellenbogen's photographs, both close-up and from the perspective of a spotter plane, bring readers even closer to her experience. This appreciative introduction to a much-maligned species will thrill readers while it encourages them to see great white sharks in a new way. (maps, bibliography, Web resources, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from June 1, 2016

    Gr 5-8-Prepare to be enveloped in saltwater air and dizzying blue water in this latest entry from veteran author Montgomery. A tense opening line delivered by 52-year-old great white shark biologist Greg Skomal is sure to hook readers: "It's pretty treacherous right here." But as they will soon discover, for Skomal and team, the even greater danger is not seeing a great white at all. Montgomery deftly balances information and intrigue without delving into the sensational; the emphasis is always on providing unique insight into the fieldwork of scientists and the absolute patience and perseverance it takes to locate, identify, gather, and analyze scientific data under challenging circumstances. Her travels with Skomal and her journey into a shark cage with biologist Erick Higuera are evidence of a genuine interest in understanding great whites and reversing negative attitudes about them. Readers will come to learn that the perceived danger surrounding sharks does not always match reality (the prime example offered being the astounding number of Americans injured by toilets in comparison to shark-related deaths in a year) and that these creatures are in desperate need of quality protection and conservation efforts. Ellenbogen's crystal clear photographs range from intimate shots of crew members and aquatic life to large aerial overviews of the inlets and waters they are sailing on-students will be sure to stop and linger over these gorgeous images. VERDICT Exceptionally written and highly recommended for those looking to give a timely summer boost to STEM collections.-Della Farrell, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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