Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret

Tundra. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735265080.
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing