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The inspirational life-story of the undersea explorer who discovered the wreck of the Titanic offers a moving examination of Ballard's concern for helping the environment and saving the threatened oceans.
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Grade 6 Up-This fast-paced biography begins with a description of Ballard's first view of the wreckage of the Titanic and then flashes back to his childhood by the Pacific Ocean. The twists and turns his life took, which led to his pioneering work in undersea exploration, are then described. The man's brash, sometimes abrasive, personality comes through, along with his determination in the face of setbacks and obstacles, resulting in a multifaceted portrayal. Two chapters cover the Titanic adventure as a culmination of years of work on finding underwater evidence to support the theory of plate tectonics and discovering hydrothermal vents and black smokers along deep undersea rift valleys. A glossary defines many of the scientific terms, and an index provides access to specific areas of interest. This is an engaging narrative of a sometimes controversial figure, providing a glimpse of the public frustrations and personal disappointments that pioneers often face. Occasional black-and-white photographs illustrate the text.
Frances E. Millhouser, Reston Regional Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ballard's discoveries of the Titanic and other famous wrecks have capped a brilliant career exploring the deeps. His tale makes good telling; after growing up around San Diego Bay in a competitive family environment, he studied, interned, and even worked as a dolphin trainer in various places before ending up at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he met and adopted Alvin, first of several submersible research vehicles. Archbold, Ballard's usual coauthor (most recently for The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal, 1993), slips in a few well-chosen details of Ballard's private life and really captures the excitement--and dangers--of being thousands of feet below the sunlight, confronting the unknown. Illuminating reading for the thousands who have enjoyed Ballard's books or accompanied him vicariously on his travels via the real-time video displays of his Jason project. B&w photos; glossary; reading list; index. (Biography. 11+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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