Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh; illustrated by Raul Colon. 2016. Watercolors, prismacolor pencils and lithograph pencils
Brief Summary: Told in first person at times rather than the usually third person. Marie Tharp’s father was a map maker and traveled with his family around the United States. This is what inspired her. She went to school but had a hard time getting a job where her colleagues took her seriously as a female map maker. She wondered what the ocean looked like under the water and if it could be mapped. Scientists were starting to use “sounding” which is when a ship sends sound waves to the bottom of the sea and waits for it to return. This would tell them how deep the water was in that area. Ms. Tharp made a huge graph using these soundings and was able to make a map of the mountains and valleys of the ocean’s floor. She discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Photo of her in the back of the book. Included a glossary, other books to read, and internet links.
Comment: This narrative nonfiction/biography could be placed in the map area of nonfiction or biography area. I think it will circulate more in my school library in the mapping area as teachers are always asking for map book collections to go with their units. I think students will be surprised of how the ocean is mapped and the method used. I will use this in my “Did you know?” book teaser talks.