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Review: Sea Otters - A Survival Story

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

The newly published, Sea Otters A Survival Story by Isabelle Groc, is a fantastic new resource for late elementary and middle school students and science educators. I have been reviewing a lot of resources recently dedicated to keystone species, so this book arrived at the right time. I was generously allowed to preview a copy by Orca Wild Publishing. I only post reviews of resources that I would use myself as an educator, and will always tell you my honest opinion. All that out of the way, I am so excited to share this book with you.

This nonfiction book is aimed at readers aged 9-12. Here is the publisher provided summary:

Sea otters once ruled the Pacific Ocean, but the fur trade of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries brought this predator to near extinction. Today they’re slowly coming back from the brink, and scientists are learning more about their pivotal role as one of nature’s keystone species. This book looks at the history, biology, behavior and uncertain future of sea otters. Author and photojournalist Isabelle Groc takes us into the field: watching sea otter rafts off the British Columbia coast from a kayak, exploring what makes their fur coats so special, understanding how their voracious appetites are helping kelp forests thrive and, ultimately, learning how sea otters are leaving their mark (or paws) on every part of the ecosystem. They might be one of the most adorable creatures in the ocean, but kids will discover how their survival is key to a rich, complex and connected ecosystem.”

My Review:

Sea Otters by Isabelle Groc is a fantastic book for students in Grades 4 and up. Beautiful photographs compliment the accessible text. Groc provides well researched facts interspersed with personal stories that allow the reader to connect to the ecological subject at hand. The real strength of this book is Groc’s ability to communicate to young readers the research science that has been done over the past decades to allow us to understand the role sea otters play in ecosystems. Her use of “In the Field “ sections give the reader a direct link to the scientists who are doing the research, and for many young readers the inspiration to take on this same work. This book is a must have for teaching about sea otters as keystone species. Any student who reads this book will come away with the scientific knowledge needed to understand the importance of this keystone species and the motivation to make a difference!

Overall a great resource about keystone species, this time sea otters.

You can catch a virtual book launch for Sea Otters A Survival Story on Thursday, May 7th at 3pm PST from the Bateman Foundation here:

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