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The Whale Scientists: Solving the Mystery of Whale Strandings (Scientists in the Field) A Junior Library Guild Selection Hardcover – November 12, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 1140L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (November 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618556737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618556731
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 11.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The text and color photographs are interesting...the many questions still left for whale researchers should intrigue young readers." Kirkus 10/01/07 Kirkus Reviews

"[T]his is an engaging topic...Photographs scattered throughout keep the look inviting..." Bulletin December 2007 Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Those heartbreaking images of the sea's giant mammals beaching themselves...form the core of this investigative picture book." Columbus Dispatch 11/14/07 Columbus Dispatch

"Hodgkins packs her text with an impressive amount of information...appealing subject and presentation." SLJ Jan 2007 School Library Journal

"Debut author Hodgkins offers a comprehensive overview of whale stranding." Booklist, 12/01/07 Booklist, ALA

"The engaginly designed pages are enhanced by well-captioned photographs." The Horn Book Jan/Feb 2008 Horn Book

About the Author

Fran Hodgkins's lifelong passion for marine biology and journalism inspired her to write about the very creatures that captured her imagination when she was a child.Fran now lives outside Baltimore, Maryland.

More About the Author

Fran Hodgkins was born in Massachusetts, the youngest of four children. As a child she loved animals and books -- especially books! The neighborhood branch library was one of her favorite haunts, and she spent hours there, reading her way through the children's collection.
"I loved to read, and I found out during middle school that I loved to write just as much." With the encouragement of two teachers, she decided to study journalism, although she did not have the drive to be a reporter that many of her classmates had. "Yet in a way, journalism was the perfect choice for me, because I was terribly shy. Having to interview people for class assignments was the motivation I needed -- get over your shyness or fail the class!"
Not long after graduation, she got a job working for educational publisher Silver Burdett Ginn. There she learned a great deal about writing for children as she read excellent examples of children's literature that were used in the company's basal reading program. During this time, she published her first article for children, a piece about the Burgess Shale fossils for The Dolphin Log.
Since then, Fran has written more than 20 books for young readers. This fall, The Secret Galaxy will be published by Tilbury House Publishers, and in Spring 2015, Little Loon will come our from Down East Books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By K. Karwacki on April 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well this is a very thoughtful book on whale strandings, showing that the issue is complex. I read the book to get a feel for what kinds of books are on the market for kids; this was listed under ages 10 and up. A lot of pictures of stranded whales is kind of...depressing. However, we learn there are things that scientists are doing to find out why this happens. It's a brief overview. And, the ending is more upbeat as we get into the world of science and get a 'day in the life' review of whale rescuers. It's great to know there's a world of large-hearted individuals out there doing all they can to help out.
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Format: Hardcover
Whale strandings are, unfortunately, a very real problem. In 2002 alone, the Cape Cod Stranding Network responded to 296 strandings, including one mass stranding. So what, exactly, causes whales to become stranded on the beach?

Scientists and marine biologists have no clear-cut answers, but they have several theories. Hearing damage, confusing geography, magnetic attractions, illness and injury, toxins, and instinctual whale behavior all seem to play a part in causing whales to strand. Whales, by nature, are pod mammals, and their very reluctance to leave an injured or sick member of their pod very often leads to mass strandings. Fishing nets and the hunting of whales also seems to play a part in confusing these gentle creatures.

There are several agencies throughout the United States -- and the world -- who work diligently to rescue those stranded whales who wash up on shore alive. For those who are already dead, or who die quickly after being stranded, necropsies (autopsies on animals) are performed to determine not only the cause of death, but to help in prevention of further strandings in the future.

THE WHALE SCIENTISTS is an informative look at a widespread problem that is perfect for either a classroom library or those who are looking for an in-depth look at whale strandings.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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