the Ocean Floor
A Paula Wiseman Book
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
(published 1.15.2016) 40 pages
A True Tale
with A Cherry On Top
A uthor: Robert Burleigh
and Illustrator: Raul Colon
C haracter: Marie Tharp
O verview from the jacket flap:
"Marie Tharp always loved maps. Traveling with her father to make surveys, she felt like maps talked to her. Then in college, a teacher pointed out that though the oceans cover more than half the earth's surface, scientists knew very little about the bottom of the seas. She wondered, how deep are the oceans? Is the seafloor flat or are there mountains on the ocean floor?
In the 1940s Marie entered a world where it was not easy to be a woman and a scientist. And having a woman on a ship was thought to be bad luck. Still she persevered. Today Marie Tharp is considered one of the twentieth century's most important scientists, though she is little known.
Award-winning author Robert Burleigh tells the story of Marie Tharp's imagination and determination. Luminously illustrated by Raul Colon, Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea is a book that will inspire readers to follow their dreams."
T antalizing taste:
"People had long attempted to measure the depth of the oceans. Sailors once lowered weighted ropes to make such measurements. More recently, scientists had begun using machines that sent sound waves from a ship to the seafloor and back again ... These measurements are called 'soundings'...
You have to think big, I told myself. I hauled a large table into my workroom and covered it with a huge sheet of paper. To me it was a blank canvas filled with possibilities. I couldn't wait to get started.
...It was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle. I felt like a detective solving a great mystery.
I was a scientist at last ...
I was a kind of artist, too... I couldn't see it with my eyes, yet a 'portrait' of the ocean floor was coming into view."
and something more: The back matter of Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea explains that Marie Tharp "was a key figure in helping to map and understand the seafloors around the world. Her work was also valuable in proving the theory of continental drift: that all the continents on earth move very slowly, toward or away from one another, over time... It took years for Marie's work and achievement to receive full recognition... Marie Tharp died in 2006. Among the many tributes that she received, one scientist put it very simply, 'Marie didn't just make maps. She understood how the Earth works.'"