The Great Shark Rescue: Saving the Whale Sharks

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Product Details

Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
9.9 X 10.0 X 0.7 inches | 1.06 pounds
Library Binding
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About the Author

Sandra Markle is the author of numerous award-winning books for children. A former elementary science teacher, she is a nationally-known science education consultant. Markle has received many honors for her series Animal Predators, Animal Scavengers, and Animal Prey. Several titles have been named as National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)/Children's Book Council (CBC) Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, and Animal Predators was honored as a Top 10 Youth Nonfiction Series by Booklist.

Markle is also the author of the Insect World series and several single titles. Her book Rescues! was named a Best Book by the Society of School Librarians International and a Recommended Title of Outstanding Nonfiction by the National Council of Teachers of English's (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Award committee; Animal Heroes was named a 2008 Lasting Connections title by Book Links. Markle lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida with her husband, photographer Skip Jeffery.


"The largest fish in the ocean, whale sharks are threatened by commercial fishing, climate change, and lack of scientific knowledge. Once again, Markle (The Great Rhino Rescue, 2018, etc.) ably introduces a vanishing species to her wide audience. She grabs their attention with a suspenseful opening: Two not-yet-grown sharks (16 and 22 feet long) are accidentally trapped by the purse seine of a commercial fishing boat. Before she relieves readers with an account of their rescue, she has introduced the species, described their 'oceans of problems, ' and explained the tools scientists have developed to investigate their 'mysterious life.' Strictly speaking, this is less about that rescue and more about the developing research that may save the species, listed as endangered in 2016, but Markle and her publisher may be forgiven the title which sets this solidly in her Science Discoveries series. As in previous entries, her clear and well-organized exposition is supported by lively design, diagrams, maps, and eye-catching photographs, including one of the trapped juveniles. Short stand-alone sections compare whale sharks to humpback whales, describe the shark's filter feeding, and explain how researchers identify individual sharks by their patterns of spots and stripes. Finally, she notes that great white sharks need our help, too, concluding with some words about her research and a few additional facts. Another wonder of the animal world, adeptly displayed."--starred, Kirkus Reviews


"If sharks are scary, what about whale sharks--the biggest of all? Though the text compares their fullgrown length to that of a school bus, the fear factor is diminished when readers learn that it eats only small fish, krill, and plankton. The species is endangered, its numbers diminished due to commercial fishing trawlers. As climate change shifts ocean temperatures along with the whale sharks' migration routes, biologists are using new technologies to collect data on their movements and asking countries to protect marine areas vital to the whale shark. Markle shares her fascination with the species, clearly explaining what is known and wondering about questions that are not yet understood, such as why pregnant females release their pups near intercontinental ridges. The many color photos, diagrams, and maps are well integrated with the text, providing pictures of whale sharks and researchers as well as visual aids for explaining matters such as how purse-seine-fishing nets work. A fascinating companion volume to Markle's The Great Penguin Rescue (2017) and The Great Rhino Rescue (2018)."--Booklist


"Whale sharks are one of the most mysterious creatures of the oceans. Little has been known about their habits and existence. Declared endangered in 2016, they have dropped in number precipitously due to killing, climate change, and encounters with large boats and seine nets. Two juvenile whale sharks caught in a mile-long purse seine net set the stage for an exploration of the species. Whale sharks are not whales, and the author explains the differences between them. The feeding patterns, migration, and very unusual gestation of this fish are shown through full-color photographs, maps, and charts. Scientists and marine biologists studying whale sharks have made advances in monitoring their migration and life patterns and are working to protect these magnificent creatures. A time line lays out the growing information available to scientists involved in the conservation of whale sharks. The juveniles caught in the net are shown to be rescued and released with the help of divers from a whale shark rescue program. The author also makes a plea for the protection of the much-maligned great white shark. Using clear language, interesting data, and exciting photographs, the author presents information on an otherwise little-studied subject. VERDICT Well organized, clearly written, and excitingly illustrated, this highly enlightening work is an excellent addition for any nature collection as well as for the study of the environment and endangered species."--starred, School Library Journal