Whaling Season
by Peter Lourie

Price at time of review: $18.00
80 pp.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Boston, MA
ISBN: 9780618777099

Grade Level: 6-10

Reviewed by Maria Mesires
Seventh Grade Science Teacher

This is a wonderfully informational book. It not only describes how and why zoologists do what they do but also provides an understanding of the culture of the native Iñupiaq people of Alaska. Details of whale biology, life cycles, and oceanography are woven into what is essentially a story of scientific adventure.

This book chronicles the life of John Craighead George as he studies the bowhead whales of the Arctic Ocean and how he balances scientific inquiry with respect for the Iñupiaq's way of life and cultural beliefs. It describes many characteristics of the bowhead whale and how George has gone about his scientific inquiry into the species. It shows how he collects his samples and shares his knowledge with the local school children. In a way that will encourage understanding, the book paints a picture of the Eskimo tribes, what they do to capture whales, and why they need them in order to live. The biography includes many interesting images of the town in Alaska, the people, and what they do to survive. Each page includes detailed photographs of the work and habitat.

This book is a great way to show students how scientific inquiry happens, explain what the nature of science is, and showcase a type of scientific job that is physically active, exciting, and interesting.

Review posted on 4/9/2010

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