Marie's Ocean: Marie Tharp Maps the Mountains Under the Sea

Marie's Ocean: Marie Tharp Maps the Mountains Under the Sea

by Josie James

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Overview

A mixed-format picture book biography of Marie Tharp, the remarkable woman who mapped the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp earned a graduate degree in geology in the 1940s, at a time when scientific careers were largely unavailable to women. Marie’s vision and tenacity paved the way for her to become one of the greatest oceanographic cartographers of the 20th century. She was the first person to map the ocean floor and discover the 40,000 mile long Mid-Ocean Ridge and Rift Valley. Her astounding discovery supported the theory of continental drift, which led to the theory of plate tectonics. But it was not an easy road, and Marie struggled to receive the credit she deserved for her discovery.

From Marie Tharp’s early childhood dreams all the way to her defining achievement, Josie James's Marie's Ocean is the story of one of earth science’s greatest hidden figures.

Christy Ottaviano Books

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A National Science Teaching Association Best STEM Book of 2021
A Junior Library Guild Selection

"The pacing and format will entice both engaged and reluctant readers; and the exhilaration of a new discovery is captured with a sense of wonder that is sure to inspire children and draw attention to the world of science . . . A winning combination of lyric description, accessible explanation, scientific history, feminism, and accomplishment."—Kirkus Reviews

"Tharp’s work with physiographic diagrams is explained in a detailed and easily understandable way, and the illustrations . . . incorporate maps of the ocean floor. This empowering, accessible account of Tharp’s career serves as a reminder that “sometimes it’s hard to convince people to believe something new”—and shows readers precisely how the groundbreaking Tharp did just that."—Horn Book

"
The first-person narration clearly explains the connections between aspects of Tharp’s childhood, controversial scientific theories, and the sexism that kept her from conducting field research. James provides a deep dive into the STEM concepts and the detailed process that Tharp employed to show the world what lies at the bottom of our oceans. Highly recommended for public and school libraries."—School Library Journal

"Using speech balloons as well as standard text, the graphic-novel-style presentation is appealing, and James makes good use of maps, charts, and other images related to Tharp’s work. These are helpful in understanding her findings and their significance. An engaging introduction to Tharp and her significant contributions to geology and cartography."—Booklist

School Library Journal

09/04/2020

K-Gr 3—James's picture book biography spotlights Marie Tharp, a white geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped revolutionize scientific knowledge of the earth. The first-person narration clearly explains the connections between aspects of Tharp's childhood, controversial scientific theories, and the sexism that kept her from conducting field research. Tharp's ambition and independent spirit are quite evident. Using direct quotes (sourced in the back matter) and real images (some created by Tharp, also sourced in the back matter), James paints a vivid narrative portrait of her subject. This title excels in the scientific explanation of Tharp's work of translating sonar data. She utilized math and geology to create a revolutionary map of the ocean floor, which added significant evidence to further validate the theory of plate tectonics. Speech bubbles and panels allow readers to connect with the humanity and personality of Tharp. Readers will also gain a better understanding of the science and math concepts that were used to make this map. Other recent biographies (Ocean Speaks by Jess Keating and illustrated by Katie Hickey; Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón) would pair well with this title. VERDICT James provides a deep dive into the STEM concepts and the detailed process that Tharp employed to show the world what lies at the bottom of our oceans. Highly recommended for public and school libraries.—John Scott, Friends Sch. of Baltimore

Kirkus Reviews

2020-06-30
“I had a blank canvas to fill with extraordinary possibilities.”

Told in graphic-novel format with first-person narration, this engaging selection traces geologist Marie Tharp’s life from childhood through the loss of her mother, her development as a student and scientist, her attempts to find a job that allowed her to use her knowledge and skills, the process she used to map the ocean floor, and her excitement at discovering evidence of continental drift theory to the gradual acceptance of her groundbreaking depiction after it was initially dismissed as “girl talk.” Full of energy and excitement, the text and illustrations merge smoothly to provide depth and interest; most spreads feature paragraphs that present the general plot; they are perched atop multiple-panel sequences that allow for scientific detail, conversation, and reflection. In an inventive design choice, Tharp’s actual maps were the inspiration for the textural backgrounds featured throughout. A strong sense of both the time period and the struggles Tharp faced as a woman working in science are incorporated nicely; the pacing and format will entice both engaged and reluctant readers; and the exhilaration of a new discovery is captured with a sense of wonder that is sure to inspire children and draw attention to the world of science. The depicted cast is an all-White one. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 55.7% of actual size.)

A winning combination of lyric description, accessible explanation, scientific history, feminism, and accomplishment. (author’s note, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250214737
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 09/22/2020
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 1,226,363
Product dimensions: 11.20(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range: 5 - 9 Years

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