Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh, illustrate by Raul Colon

Published by Simon and Schuster 

Summary: Marie Tharp fell in love with maps when she and her family moved from place to place for her father’s job. After attending 17 different schools, she studied geography in college, then got a job at Lamont Geological Laboratory at Columbia University.  Looking for a groundbreaking project to work on, she teamed up with her colleague Bruce Heezen to map the ocean floor.  For 20 years, from 1957 to 1977, Heezen collected data on many ocean trips, and Tharp turned the data into maps.  Along the way, she discovered a deep rift in the Atlantic Ocean which helped support the theory of continental drift.  Her maps have been used in schools and museums around the world.  End matter includes more information about Marie Tharp, a glossary and bibliography, and a page entitled, “Things to Wonder About and Do”.  40 pages; grades K-4.

Pros: The first person narration imbues the story with Marie’s own energy and enthusiasm. Colon’s illustrations beautifully capture the light and colors of the seas and the intricacies of Tharp’s maps.

Cons:  The continents are moving an inch or two every year?!

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