Book Review: Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman

Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman is a non fiction book for children and adults.  Marine biologist Brent Hughes didn't think sea otters and sea grass had much in common. But his research at Elkhorn Slough, an estuary on Monterey Bay in northern California, revealed a new and surprising connection between the two. The scientist expected this estuary to be overrun with algae due to the fertilizer runoff from surrounding fields. But it wasn't. Why?
Sea Otter Heroes goes into well organized and worded detail about the hows and whys behind Brent HUghes investigating why Elkhorn Slough was not overrun with algae like other similar locations. What inspired him and how he went about the research is an important portion of the book, with made me happy. Too often, books explore scientific mysteries or studies leave this important part of the story out. I liked that readers got to see how complex and layered the effort was to discover what made this particular slough different than others, and how the research and studies were hard but satisfying work. I loved the information that was presented, and how the images were used to further connect the reader to the information, bringing everything into a clearer focus. As someone that spends a good portion of the summer loving the ocean, and loves all animals I was interested and entralled with the read. As the mother of a young animal lover that has been insistant for years that she is going to take care of wild animals as a career, I found that this book offered her further inspiration for that desire. Furthermore, the book offered a better understanding of ecosystems and the nature of scientific research and studies that are needed to make that kind of job possible and effective. 

Sea Otter Heroes is a great book for exploring how studies like this are done, and how seemingly little changes in the environment can have very important effects on the ecosystem. It is well organized, interesting, and understandable read that might inspire young readers to be out future scientists or simply more aware of the environment and how interconnected the individual creatures- regardless of size- can impact each other.
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