Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map That Moved the Earth
Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map That Moved the Earth

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Annotation: Meet Marie Tharp (1920-2006), the first person to map the Earth's underwater mountain ridge, in this inspiring picture b... more
Catalog Number: #219728
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Tundra Books
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7352-6508-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8429-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7352-6508-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8429-0
Dewey: 921
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A scientific journey through sexism and across the ocean floor.Marie Tharp (1920-2006) grew up fascinated with the natural world but as a girl was not allowed to study it. The accessible text focuses on general rather than specific historical detail but provides overall context; when war broke out and women were encouraged to learn about science, she welcomed the opportunity and eventually landed a job in a laboratory. As male scientists returned home, however, they were sent to do research while women such as Tharp were confined to desks. But Tharp was charged with creating a map of the ocean floor, a project that engaged her skills and imagination and led to her identification of a great rift, information that was initially dismissed as “girl-talk” and eventually revolutionized earth science. Engaging and inventive illustrations, including one fabulous foldout that depicts her expanding map, show her gradually becoming the skilled scientist and ocean cartographer she is recognized as today. Tharp presents white and race goes unmentioned, though there are darker-skinned people depicted in the background. The narrative doesn’t mention what Keating places in her author’s note: that when findings were first published, Tharp received little or no credit. Still this is a story that will doubtlessly inspire curiosity and consideration of the many forms of exploration and scientific inquiry while showing how one woman was able create new knowledge despite sexist constraints.An intriguing tale of feminism, scientific exploration, imagination, focus, and resilience.  (Q&A, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2 This is a sweet picture book biography with a strong feminist message. Marie Tharp worked as a geologist and oceanographic cartographer at a time when women were not particularly welcome in the field. When her male colleagues put her on desk duty, she analyzed the data they gave her and created the first map illustrating the mid-Atlantic Ridge, part of Earth's longest chain of mountains. Despite her colleague's disbelief, she stood behind her work. Jacques-Yves Cousteau even sent his cameras deep into the ocean to prove her wrong, but instead, he validated her map. Hickey's blue-soaked illustrations are whimsical and energetic, perfectly complementing the succinct text. Despite the short word count, this book is packed with information and effectively conveys the gravity and impact of Tharp's work and the obstacles she faced. Back matter adds factual weight to the narrative and provides valuable context for readers. The majority of people are depicted with light skin; the racial demographics of the field at the time are not addressed. VERDICT A wonderful introductory biography of a woman changing the world from behind the scenes. Recommended as a general purchase for public and school libraries. Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR
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School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

Meet Marie Tharp (1920-2006), the first person to map the Earth's underwater mountain ridge, in this inspiring picture book biography from the author of Shark Lady.

From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job in a laboratory at Cambridge University, New York. But then she faced another barrior: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office.

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