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Exploring our oceans

Cottman, Michael H.  Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy
Gr. 4–6, middle school     127 pp.     National Geographic

The ship Henrietta Marie transported enslaved Africans from 1698 until its sinking in 1700. The African American author traces the ship’s path from port to port; visits Key West, Florida, where its remains were found; and reflects on ways his own identity is interlaced with the history he’s uncovered. Vivid narrative details and color photos make the story memorable. Reading list, timeline, websites. Ind.
Subjects: General and World History; Slavery; Slave trade; Vehicles—Ships; African Americans; Shipwrecks

Cusolito, Michelle  Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Charlesbridge

Illustrated by Nicole Wong. “You” are the pilot of Alvin, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s deep-sea submersible first launched in 1965. A clear text evokes the nearly two-mile journey to the ocean floor; readers are introduced to Alvin‘s tasks and the nature of the deep-sea biome. Digital illustrations are both exact in their depiction of Alvin‘s wondrous mechanics and evocative in their survey of seemingly otherworldly deep-sea life. Reading list, websites. Glos.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Underwater exploration; Oceanography; Vehicles—Submarines

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, Compiler  Traveling the Blue Road: Poems of the Sea
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Quarto/Seagrass

Illustrated by Bob Hansman and Jovan Hansman. Fourteen poems in various styles by twelve poets, including Jane Yolen, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Paul Janeczko, reflect on human sea migration from the fifteenth century to the present day. The moving collection focuses on migrants’ struggles during significant historical events (the Middle Passage; Mediterranean refugee crisis). Sea-related quotes throughout and appended notes provide additional context. Evocative and beautifully designed mixed-media illustrations mimic archival images.
Subjects: Poetry Collections; Migration; Sea stories; Oceans; Voyages and travels; Vehicles—Ships

Rosenstock, Barb  Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
Gr. K–3, 4–6     48 pp.     Little

Illustrated by Katherine Roy. Rosenstock presents a gripping account of Otis Barton and Will Beebe’s historic 1930 journey into the deep ocean. Otis and Will were fascinated by ocean life as boys. As adults, they partner up, and with a team of scientists build the Bathysphere, a five-thousand-pound diving tank. Roy’s fluid watercolors and dramatic perspectives capture the heart-pounding emotion of the scientists’ dangerous journey eight hundred feet underwater. Bib.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Underwater exploration; Barton, Otis; Beebe, William; Engineering; Naturalists; Inventions and inventors; Animals—Marine animals; Oceans; Scientists; Oceanography

Sandler, Martin W.  The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure
Middle school, high school     164 pp.     Candlewick

When the ice arrived unusually early in September 1897, eight whaling ships were trapped in the Arctic Ocean. The narrative alternates between the desperate whalers, the rescue boat, and the rescue team (members of what would become the Coast Guard). Sandler uses primary sources liberally — textual accounts as well as black-and-white photographs — in this thorough and deliberate tale. Timeline. Bib., ind.
Subjects: North America; Alaska; Accidents; Whaling; Vehicles—Boats and boating; Rescue work; Animals—Reindeer; Vehicles—Ships; McKinley, William; Arctic ocean

From the January 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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