Scuba diving in the waters of Australia's Great Barrier Reef is magical, especially to a twelve-year-old girl.
Living on a dive boat, she experiences all the beauties of the reef. Every day is filled with thrilling adventures - and sometimes more danger than she ever expected.
She dives with monster-size fish that weigh 200 pounds. One day she is surrounded by poisonous sea snakes, ten times more deadly than the cobra. Another time she feeds sharks from the platform of the dive boat and watches as they go into a feeding fren zy right in front of her! She explores a ghost ship where fish are said to be as big as cars, meets one-horned unicorn fish, adorable clown fish, and tests the old myth of just how dangerous a giant clam can be.
Ann McGovern blends her own diving experiences with poetic science and uses her skill as a storyteller to bring readers a science story as absorbing and accurate as her book Night Dive, named an Outstanding Childrens Science Book for Children: National S cience Teachers Association and the Childrens Book Council. 1984
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
From Chapter 5:
I can't sleep.
Over and over I hear the excited talk of the divers.
The sea snakes are poisonous.
One bite and you've had it.
Cousin to the cobra. Ten times more deadly.
I toss and turn while the Coral Princess heads out to the reef where the sea snakes await.
It's morning. I'm usually the first one in the water. But not today. Mom says I can skip the sea snake dive if I want to. But everyone else is going in, even Chris, who for once doesn't tease me. He looks serious, which makes me even more nervous.
But I'm so curious. I want to see those sea snakes!
Finally I get in the water. I look down and gasp. Seven snakes are slithering through the sea - right toward me. There are snakes to the right of me, snakes to the left of me, snakes everywhere.
This place is a snake pit!From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-7-- Despite attractive, color photographs, Down Under Down Under has several major flaws. McGovern tells the adventure through the first-person narrative of a fictitious girl whose marine biologist mother takes her on a ten-day diving cruise on the Australian Great Barrier Reef. While it's hard to believe that a 12 year old would participate in the complex, and often dangerous, dives described, the girl in the pictures contributes to this feeling of doubt since she looks like an adult. Too many activities and too much information are jammed into this slim volume, and as a result, neither is fully developed. The narrative also lacks organization at times; information often seems out of place. Those with an interest in marine biology or diving will be attracted by the vibrant cover photo, and browsers will enjoy the illustrations. However, not enough information is given to make this useful for research. --Susan H. Williamson, Homer-Center School District, PA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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