Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Great White Shark Scientist

The Great White Shark Scientist 
by Sy Montgomery
photographs by Keith Ellenbogen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
Grades 5 and up

It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and it's the perfect time to review the latest Scientists in the Field book, The Great White Shark Scientist. Author, Sy Montgomery, and photographer, Keith Ellenbogen, have teamed up on another exciting marine biology story for kids. (Last summer the duo brought us The Octopus Scientists.)

The Shark Scientist features Dr. Greg Skomal, a biologist studying great white sharks in Chatham, MA (not far from where the setting of Jaws). Organized chronologically by day, the book follows the work of Skomal and his crew one summer as they tag sharks off the coast of Cape Cod. In her signature narrative style, Montgomery eloquently blends dialogue, description and facts to paint a vivid picture for readers.

"Look at those rocks!" says Keith, marveling at what looks like hundreds of dark boulders on the beach. 

"Those aren't rocks," says Greg."Those are seals- lots of seals!" Cynthia, Jeff and Pam set to counting them. It looks like there are 250 just in this one group. "The sharks eat everything," explains Greg, "but it's these seals that's drawing them to the Cape." (p. 5)

Ellenbogen's impressive photographs capture sharks underwater, divers in submersible cages, and Skomal on his boat tagging sharks. Readers will take a way a new appreciation of sharks and an understanding of why humans need to save them. The Great White Shark Scientist is a recommended purchase for schools and libraries. It would make an exciting and informative nonfiction read aloud for grades 4 and up.

Visit the publisher's site to download a discussion guide.

Other reviews of The Great White Shark Scientist:
Kid Lit Frenzy
Geo Librarian


  1. Cannot wait to read this! I LOVE all of Sy Montgomery's work!! Two of my favorite Scientist in the Field books of hers are The Octopus Scientist and Chasing Cheetahs. Her Birdology is wonderful too, and I also enjoyed The Soul of an Octopus.

  2. We are addicted to shark week!!! And to top it off - danger signs were posted at our local beach about a great white sighting last week so things are super exciting around here. This book looks like one we need to read.
    Off to the beach with binoculars to see if we can sight a shark.

  3. Your scientific experiment technical resolve ideas wonderful thanks for share it research transcription services .