Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
This story begins with the story of the Deepwater Horizon. The tragic Gulf oil spill is seen through through the eyes of biologist Kayla DiBenedetto, who became part of a wildlife rescue team. It describes her efforts to save sea birds, like pelicans, in 2010 in a personal way that will entrance young readers.
Oil spills cause incredible harm to animals in large numbers—a scope of destruction that most children couldn't imagine. But this NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book takes a more personal approach, chronicling how humans intervene one by one to save individual animals in a way that's both appealing and hopeful. From the Gulf the author moves to Alaska and adds information gained from the Exxon Valdez and disasters in the Gulf in 1970 and South Africa in 2000. There is information on what has been learned about how to best free the animals from the oil that clings to their bodies or is ingested.
This book takes a complex issue and makes it understandable for elementary students. Each page has about a paragraph of middle elementary text, with lots of captioned photographs below to support the reader. An appendix with timeline, glossary, bibliography, and online support add to the book's usefulness in the classroom.
Review posted on 1/22/2013