From School Library Journal
Grade 4–8—Mallory follows marine biologist Rich Lutz as he travels in a research submarine to study hydrothermal vents and describes his investigation into the regrowth of an underwater habitat after it is devastated by a volcanic eruption. In keeping with other volumes in the series, the author provides a balanced mixture of biography and science that gives children a well-rounded exposure to intellectual pursuit. Enthusiastic text expresses a sense of adventure and effectively depicts the thrill of new discoveries. At times, the numerous biological terms and concepts may be challenging for newcomers and struggling readers, but students with developed interests will find them attention-grabbing. Readers less interested in hard science will be intrigued by the look at the different vehicles and equipment used to carry out these explorations, and will be particularly drawn in by the last section on the making of an IMAX film. Large, colorful photographs and diagrams illustrate species and biological principles. A general purchase for libraries with a significant science readership.—Michael Santangelo, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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Kids expecting tales of researchers outrunning lava flows may find this book's true focus--hydrothermal vents and their ecosytems--a touch bland. But as in previous photo-essays in the Scientists in the Field series, the profile of an enthusiastic scientist injects excitement into even unassuming facts. Here, the author of Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks
(2001), in the same series, introduces marine biologist Rich Lutz, who studies the rich communities supported by heat-spewing fissures in the seabed. The high-tech submersible vessel used lends the expeditions some of the glamour of space journeys, and children will respond to the down-to-earth language (one region razed by sizzling chemicals inspires the quip, "Tubeworm Barbecue"). There are, however, some problems with organization, such as the placement of the definition of hydrothermal vent
deep within a sidebar, and a section about the filming of a now-closed IMAX movie feels extraneous. But readers will have no trouble picking up on the passion of a job that allows one to "find out some of the fundamental secrets of the universe." Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved