Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed The Ocean’s Biggest Secret, written by Jess Keating, illustrated by Katie Hickey, and published by Tundra, is an Honor Book in the Books for Younger Children Category.
Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed The Ocean’s Biggest Secret is the lyrical biography of Marie Tharp whose curiosity and fascination with the natural world led her to the study of oceanography and cartography in a time when women weren’t welcome in the sciences. Since women were considered bad luck on ships, Marie was left behind when her male colleagues embarked on research trips. Undaunted she explored from her desk, using the depth measurement data to plot a map of the ocean floor, which revealed an undiscovered deep rift valley on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Nobody believed her evidence, especially explorer Jacques Cousteau who sent his cameras down into the depths of the ocean, to prove her wrong, instead validating her discovery of the ocean’s biggest secret, the largest mountain range on our planet. The exuberant illustrations rendered in a flowing ocean palette of teal, indigo, and blues with earth tones of green and gold invite young readers to explore the wonder and beauty of the world around them. More importantly, the text challenges readers to consider and investigate the role of unrecognized women behind the scenes of past and future scientific discoveries.
Author: Jess Keating
Illustrator: Katie Hickey
Award: 2021 Honor Book for Younger Children