I enjoy Ann McGovern’s books, especially her contributions to the …If You series.
At a very young age, Eugenie Clark developed a passion. It was a passion fed by hours of reading and observation. It was a passion for the ocean and the marvelous creatures that it held. It was a passion that Eugenie was determined to pursue.
But the journey was not easy. Eugenie’s father had died while she was a baby, and Eugenie lived with her mother and grandmother, both of whom worked very hard to make ends meet. Eugenie’s fascination sometimes seemed like an unrealistic dream to them, but they scraped together money whenever it was possible to buy her books to read and fish to study.
Finally, after much hard work, Eugenie graduated from Hunter College with a degree in zoology. As she began to work underwater and in laboratories, her knowledge and reputation grew. She began making expeditions to different parts of the world to study the waters there. And as she worked, a new interest emerged. An interest in sharks.
As Ms. Clark studied sharks, she made many discoveries. The most exciting work was training. Prior to Eugenie’s work, sharks were regarded as stupid. She proved that they were not by training them to do simple tasks. Their response to cause and effect tests proved that they were in fact very intelligent.
Ms. Clark is still working with sharks and continues to make contributions to the scientific establishment. She says she hopes to keep making underwater dives when she is ninety!
Eugenie’s mother was a very supportive woman who worked hard to help Eugenie’s dream become a reality. Eugenie appreciates the sacrifices that her mother makes for her and comments on it.
It is mentioned in one place that Eugenie’s marriage had come to an end. It is not detailed how or for what reasons.
Ms. McGovern describes the world underneath the ocean as ‘magical’. Ms. Clark’s underwater experience is written thusly.
Coming closer she could see that the rocks had holes like windows, with lovely fish darting in and out. Colorful sponges grew over the ricks. “Like Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread house in a water forest,” she thought. “I wonder what witch of the sea lives here. [pgs. 26-27]
Luck is mentioned and on one occasion Eugenie crosses her fingers.
Two pictures depict women in bathing suits.
Conclusion. Not a vital addition to your children’s library, but an interesting one for those fascinated by the ocean.
Review © 2013 Laura Verret