Friday, March 12, 2010

A Whale of a Tale.....

I'm currently reading a non-fiction title called "Whaling Season" by Peter Lourie that is about whale hunting in North America--it's history, who does it, why it's controversial, etc. It really gives an interesting look at the whaling industry and Publishers Weekly recently gave it a starred review for the unique insights it offers--Here is that review:

Gr 4–8—Lourie skillfully describes the delicate three-way relationship that exists among the Iñupiat of Alaska, the bowhead whales, and the scientists who are there to collect data and study the animals. The Iñupiat have hunted bowheads for thousands of years and their very existence depends upon the harvesting of the leviathans. The scientists are there to determine whether the whaling done by these communities is sustainable and not decimating the bowhead population. Using a day-in-the-life format, Lourie follows one particular scientist, John Craighead George, as he goes about collecting the necessary data. The biologist is careful not to disturb the integrity of the harvest and, in fact, works closely with the Iñupiat to do what he needs to do. Interwoven throughout this daylong saga are historical information, scientific facts, and cultural tradition. Crisp color photographs on every page provide a lush complement to the engaging, informative text. Young readers will come away with a stronger appreciation of the bowhead whales, the people who both hunt and respect them, and the scientists who straddle the traditional and modern worlds to gather important information. An excellent addition to any collection.
—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Recommended for anyone but especially those interested in the environment, whales, marine biology, and Native Americans. Put this title on hold today! The pictures alone are worth the effort!

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