The Octopus Scientists by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Keith Ellenbogen

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Summary: Sy Montgomery travels to the island of Moorea, near Tahiti, to work with a group of scientists who are seeking to learn more about octopuses (in case you’re wondering, this is the correct plural form of octopus. Octopod is also acceptable, but not octopi). Diving from numerous locations around the island, the team hunts for the elusive octopus, which can change into more colors than a chameleon and move its boneless body through tiny holes to hide. They’re looking to learn more about both the behavior and the psychology of the octopus, which has been shown in recent years to be remarkably intelligent. Interspersed with the story of the expedition are two-page spreads that give more information about octopuses, the scientists, and their research facility. A brief bibliography and index are included at the end. Grades 5-8.

Pros: Part of the excellent Scientists in the Field series (“Where science meets adventure”), this book continues that series’ tradition of portraying science as an exciting adventure. Some days pass without a single octopus sighting, but this makes discoveries all the more rewarding. Readers will definitely want to make the acquaintance of an octopus when they finish this book.

Cons: Maybe I am just getting older, but this book’s font seemed unnecessarily small.

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