Last year The Frog Scientist, by Pamela S. Turner, won the Cybils award for best middle grade/young adult nonfiction. One of the author's new books is Project Seahorse, another topnotch offering in Houghton Mifflin's Scientists in the Field series. This one concerns the world's first seahorse conservation group and a damaged reef in the Philippines. Turner deftly represents a number of the participants in a cooperative project, including the group's biologist founders, young Filipino scientists working on the effort, and the family of a local fisher, who makes his living from the sea.
"[The village of] Handumon's problems aren't unique. Many coral reefs around the world face similar threats. How can reefs be protected, along with the livelihood of people like Digoy [the fisher]? Finding solutions to this thorny problem is a main goal of Project Seahorse."
The hallmarks of the series are all here: high-interest subject matter, large color photos, and portraits of scientists at work now. While children will learn plenty about seahorses, Turner also gives more resources at the end of the book for additional reading and for helping these beautiful, delicate animals.
Project Seahorse, a great independent-reading choice for fifth graders on up (younger for read-alouds), is a 2010 Cybils nominee in the middle grade/young adult nonfiction category.
Turner, Pamela S. Project Seahorse. Photographs by Scott Tuason. Houghton Mifflin, 2010.