OCEAN WORLD'S SUGGESTED READINGS
Often young and old alike get "turned on" to
a topic, like the ocean, by reading literature that stirs their imagination.
There is much yet to be explored about the ocean, so imagination still plays
an important role. Below are only some of the great books that have inspired
and stirred the curiosity of readers for years. Take the time to get lost
in a good book! Titles in red indicate
books with a suitable reading level for young readers.
it Courage by Armstrong Sperry
(New York: Macmillan 1940).
is a story of survival and courage. Mafatu, the son of the chief of a small
South Pacific island, fears the sea. He is taunted and jeered at by the boys
and laughed at by the girls of the tribe. When he was very young, Mafatu and
his mother had gone out to fish with others from the village, but a storm
arose before Mafatu and his mother could get to shore. The next day his mother's
body was found still clutching her young son who had miraculously survived
the onslaught of the sea. Mafatu feared the sea and knew in his heart that
Moana, the Sea God, would someday come to claim him . No longer able to face
the scorn of his father and the others, he decides he must prove his courage
to himself and others. Mafatu takes a small boat and heads out to sea. The
currents and tides carry him to a strange new island where he makes some astonishing
discoveries and struggles for his very survival.
on Mr. Bowditch by J. L. Latham
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1955)
This is the amazing story of Nat Bowditch who had little opportunity for schooling
but mastered the secrets of navigation for himself. Before the age of 30 he
had written The American Practical Navigator, which was still used some 150
years later as a standard text in the United States Naval Academy. This is
a biography under historical fiction. Nathaniel Bowditch was a real person
who did the things the author has credited him with, but the author has taken
the liberty of adding dialogue that is similar to what the character would
have said. Jean Lee Latham,the author, studied astronomy, oceanography mathematics
and seamanship. She also traveled to Boston and Salem to talk with descendants
of Nathaniel Bowditch and to do research on the geographical and maritime
backgrounds of her story.
Cod: The Biography
of the Fish That Changed the World by M. Kurlansky
(New York: Penguin, 1997)
did the Pilgrims starve when the world's most productive fishery was just
yards offshore? The fishery had been so lucrative that the area was named
Cape Cod in 1603, 17 years before the Pilgrims arrived How did Cod influence
world history? Where did the Basques get their Cod? They supplied Cod to
Europe from before 1000 AD. Why are there no more Cod on the Grand Banks?
What happened to the fishery that was thought to be so great that it could
never be overfished?
Here is a small book, suitable for high school students, that combines
marine and fishery science, history, economics, and interesting recipes
in a remarkable
book about a remarkable fish. "Wars have been fought over it, revolutions
have been spurred by it [including our own], national diets have been based
on it, economies have depended upon it, and the settlement of North America
was driven by it." It is the cod.
Earth, New Views on Our Changing Planet by P. Stevens and K. Kelley
(San Francisco: Chronicle Books 1992, ISBN 0-8118-0135-7)
in the Sky by D. Baddour (supervising director) and P. Andrew
(producer) [Videotape]. (Bethesda, MD: Discovery Channel Video 1995)
Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
by Erik Larson
This book far exceeds the scope of the weather-disaster genre. Erik Larson,
a contributor to Time, recreates the Galveston of that hot September in 1900,
a rich seaport with the uniquely 19th century American juxtaposition of coarseness
and elegance. The people in Mr. Larson's Galveston are real, drawn from historical
records and animated with an adroit hand. The hurricane is real too, described
with a modern understanding of meteorology in nontechnical terms. Still, most
readers will remember Isaac's Storm as the human story of those who
survived, or who failed to survive, the nation's deadliest natural disaster.
Review written by Hugh E. Willoughby of the Hurricane Research Division of
of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960)
book is based on an event that really occurred. It is the story of Karana,
an Indian girl who lived alone on an island off the coast of California for
some 18 years. Following an attack by the Aleuts who had come to hunt otter,
missionaries come to rescue Karana and her people from their island. Karana
notices that her spirited little brother is not on board the ship and jumps
off to swim ashore for him. An approaching storm at sea forces the ship to
leave without her. Wild dogs on the island kill her brother, leaving 12
Karana isolated on the island. She overcomes taboos of her tribe, the loss
of her brother, and many difficulties dealt by the sea. This is a real story
of survival and what makes it even more interesting is that the real Karana
was later rescued and brought to California by missionaries. Her people
since dispersed and no one who spoke her language could be found. A missionary
who worked with her managed to get the bits and pieces of the story that
O'Dell so artfully turned into Island of the Blue Dolphin.. The horrible
storms that Karana described could have been El
Niño's or tsunamis.
Read the book and you be the judge.
Dick by Herman Melville
(Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill 1964).
Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick depicts a sailor's journey
of self-discovery as he travels on a New England whaling vessel in search
of the illusive white whale. Surviving storms at sea, a vindictive captain,
shark encounters, and all the perils associated with whaling, Ishmael learns
the power of God and his sea. The hunt for one whale becomes more than an
obsession - it becomes a matter of life and death. (synopsis courtesy of Katrin
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide, Earth from Space by A.
Leventer and G. Seltzer (New York: National Audubon Society 1995, ISBN 0-679-76057-1)
Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
(New York: Scribner)
This is a novel in the purest sense. It would be classified
as realistic fiction because it is believable. In other words, something like
it could realistically happen. The old Cuban fisherman, Santiago, has not
been successful fishing the
Gulf Stream in
his little skiff. The men of the village laugh at him. His dream of catching
the "big one" seems
to be just that--a dream. Thin, gaunt, and heavily wrinkled the old man
has only the young boy who listens and believes. The ordeal of a lifetime
Santiago as he sets out to find the big one far out in the Gulf Stream.
Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian
(Harper Collins Pub. 1998)
If you are looking for high seas adventure, watch the feature
film "The Perfect Storm". If you love adventure, but want more,
read the book. Sebastion Junger has carefully reconstructed the lives
group of North Atlantic swordfishermen, their friends, families and rescuers
in his best-selling novel. All the adventure is there, but interspersed--with
the thrilling plot of this true tale--is concise, understandable instruction
in the science of swordfishing and storms at sea. There is no better
learn about this business than to read this book. You will come away
with an increased respect for those in the fishing industry as well as
Guard who train rigourously and risk their lives to save others. A grand
adventure and a thorough read.
Ice: The Wreck of the Endurance by Monical
(Random House 1999)
This book written for children tells the story of Ernest
Shackleton and his crew aboard the ship--Endurance. The scientific expedition
to Antarctica became an expedition of survival as the Endurance was lost to
the ice. The transcontinental (crossing the South Pole) expedition met with
hardship and suffered the loss of many crew members. For a full historical
account, read the memoirs of Ernest Shackleton in South.
Memoir of the Endurance Voyage by Ernest Shackleton
(Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. 1998)
Sir Ernest Shackleton's personal account of a doomed voyage
and heroic rescue in the vast ice barrens of the Antarctic.
Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1991)
Verne was a man with an imagination ahead of his time. Just before writing
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea he had completed a voyage to America
on the largest ship afloat--The Great Eastern. It was this ship that laid
the Atlantic cable which had so excited Verne. He questioned the crewmen
the marine life they had seen, about the currents they encountered, seashells
and seaweed they had found. In his new book he imagined a submarine 50 to
100 times bigger than the frail tin cans of his day. It was a mammoth double-hulled
ship of steel powered by an unusual type of electricity. Its crew took its
living from the sea like farmers from the land. Some of Verne's ideas of
life have become somewhat a reality in modern times. This classic science
fiction adventure might surprise some readers when they look at the date
when it was written.
Spot Oceans by Reader's Digest Children's Books
On the Spot Oceans is a collection of the Reader's Digest
Children's Books. This 17 page book is great for young readers. It touches
on the basics about ocean plants and animals, as well as giving some interesting
facts about thedeep blue. At the end, this book gives children a few fun legends
and mysteries about mermaids and sea monsters. The glossary on the last page
allows kids a quick reference in case they are in need.
is Mostly Ocean by Allen Fowler
This is a great book for young readers. It gives an introduction
to some of the world's oceans, informs children about high and low tides,
and talks about what the Mariana Trench is. This book also touches on the
jobs of oceanographers and at the end gives a review section where children
can quiz themselves on hte facts they learned from The World is Mostly Ocean.
the Deep, Dark Sea by Gail Gibbons
Exploring the Deep, Dark Sea gives kids a first hand look
at what it would be like to take an adventure in a submersible. This book
is for the more advanced readers who can understand the meanings of larger
numbers and depths dealing with the ocean. This book goes beyond exploring
the surface by teaching kids about the dark zone of the ocean. This is a great
book for kids looking to learn about the unknowns of the oceans. A neat feature
that this book offers is a time line of oceanic events to help kids understand
the facts of the ocean.