Tag Archives: cartography

Breaking through the glass ceiling

8 Apr

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Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor by Robert Burleigh is a picture book biography of the eponymous Marie Tharp, a woman who, at  a time when the glass ceiling for women was very low, worked hard to find her place in the world of science and cartography.

Publisher’s Summary: Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.

Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle.

Despite past failures and challenges—sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was “bad luck”—Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.

Award-winning author Robert Burleigh tells her story of imagination and perseverance. Beautifully illustrated by Raúl Colón, Look Up! is a book that will inspire readers to follow their dreams.

A Mad Dash to the Finish

30 Jul

I am going out of town today. I’ve spent the last few days finishing up the library books I could not renew, renewing the ones I could, and finishing those that I could. One of these was The Glass Sentence by S. E Grove.

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 S. E. Grove might have written this book with me in mind. It is a tale of exploration and cartography in world in which Time has been Disrupted.  Each of the continents has been flung into a different time period; some are broken onto many time periods. Sophia Tims, our heroine comes from a line of cartologers and explorers. Her parents disappeared on a journey of exploration when she was small and Sophia was raised by her Uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, if not in the entire world.

The book opens with a call from certain elements within society to expel all foreigners and close the border to them. And to keep the citizens of New Occident safe within New Occident. I sort of wondered if the author was reflecting a little on the current immigration situation. In anticipation of this, Shadrack begins to prepare Sophia for a journey they will take together, by beginning her cartological training. This is cut short when Shadrack is abducted and Sophia, naturally,  sets out to find him. As she journeys, she encounters bad guys, new friends and all sorts of adventures.

I love a book with a map in it..and this book has three! And the maps Grove cannot show, but only describe are marvelous.The maps in The Glass Sentence are more than two-dimensional diagrams in the Cartesian coordinate system. Maps can be compilations of memory; and maps made of different materials might be layered one upon the other. In fact, the whole book is really about a race to fin the carta mayor, the map to end all maps which shows the world as it is, as it was and as it could be.

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This is the first book in a series, but ends without a frustrating cliffhanger, which I appreciate. I am all for cliffhangers, but not when one has to wait months or years for the next installment.

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

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