Belying its subtitle, this volume is more about unsolved mysteries than about those that have been solved. The first chapter contains an excellent explanation of scientific inquiry and how it is used to solve problems pertaining to the ocean. The mysteries, or unsolved problems, are varied and are logically presented, offering evidence of the problem, suspected causes, lines of investigation, research methods used to collect data, and possible solutions. In each case, background information needed to understand the scope of the problem is presented in a concise, easy-to-follow manner.
With the presentation of the first mystery, it appears that the book will be yet another piece of fiction predicting death due to human-induced global warming. Thankfully, this fear is not realized: The author wisely states, "You can't really understand how global warming is going to affect fisheries and other marine populations until you understand how the whole system works." The explanation of these mysteries is aided by the many colorful photographs and illustrations that adorn every page of the text. It is unfortunate, however, that Georges Bank is not correctly located on the world map that is included to give a global perspective to the selected problems.
Although rather limited in scope, with only four situations described in the narrative, this book does give the reader an excellent overview with regard to the many variables that must be considered in solving problems having to do with our planet's oceans. (a Turnstone Ocean Explorer Book.) Recommended, Grades 5-12, General Audience. REVIEWER: Jane H. Evans (Mid Valley Secondary Center)