by Anita Sanchez
Holiday House, 2023
Grades 3 and up
If you have ever taken a trip to the beach, you have probably stepped on seaweed in the sand, brushed dried seaweed off your blanket, and encountered seaweed floating in the water. Chances are didn't pay much attention to the seaweed or think much about the role seaweed plays in our environment.
The Forest in the Sea is full of information about the importance of seaweed in providing food and shelter to aquatic life. As our climate changes and ocean temperatures rise, seaweed is critical to the health of the ocean ecosystem.
The expository text is organized into chapters that include the scientific classification of seaweed, the Sargasso Sea, seaweed harvesting, seaweed's impact on air quality, future uses for seaweed, and more. Readers will learn about organizations that are working on ways to use seaweed to clean pollution from the water. There is even the possibility seaweed could be used as fuel in the future.
Sanchez clearly explains scientific concepts to middle grade readers in an engaging and interesting manner. Colorful photographs are placed throughout the chapters and include close-up photos of varieties of seaweed as well as animals that benefit from seaweed: whales, seabirds, sharks, and even cows!
Back matter includes a glossary of scientific terms, a recipe for baking seaweed snacks, tips for foraging seaweed, a timeline, and environmental tips for protecting seaweed. This book should be given to readers who have an interest in marine biology, kids who are interested in the environment, and students who are researching ocean life or climate change. Upper elementary and middle school science teachers could build a unit of study around The Forest in the Sea.