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A Survival Story
Nonfiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 128
Themes: endangered species, conservation, ecosystem awareness, protection, keystone species
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 28/Apr/2020
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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.

Ben Hoare, former Features Editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine
“This is a good news story, beautifully told by a passionate advocate for healthy seas full of life. Isabelle Groc reveals how sea otters—some of the cutest, furriest, smartest mammals around—are making a triumphant return to the Pacific coast of North America, kick-starting the recovery of this fabulously rich marine ecosystem.”
“Groc's personal admiration for these intriguing mammals is evident in her descriptive writing, clear explanations, and well-documented and captioned color photographs. A compelling wake-up call for protecting the environment.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Well-researched...A thorough introduction to an appealing keystone species.”
Kai Chan, Professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
“This book is a masterpiece of children’s nonfiction about nature. With pages of stunning photographs and easy-to-read text about the history, science and ecological heroics of sea otters, this book is a must-have for every budding naturalist and every lover of sea otters.”
School Library Connection
“A good book for students who are interested in animals, the environment, or who just love sea otters...It would be a worthwhile addition to collections serving upper elementary and middle school students.”
James A. Estes, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz
“The sea otter’s story holds lessons for everyone. Isabelle Groc has provided a great service to nature and human society by teaching these lessons to the next generation in an accurate and compelling manner.”
Robert Bateman, artist and naturalist
“Isabelle Groc's Sea Otters: A Survival Story is a delight—and not just because sea otters are a delight. The book is accessible, well researched, informative and very attractive. All ages will enjoy this book.”
Dame Judi Dench
"In this beautiful book, Isabelle tells us an important story, one that gives us hope...Young people will be encouraged to see that positive change can happen, and that we can all do something to help preserve our planet."
School Library Journal
“This very relevant book on climate change and endangered species is a strong choice for all nonfiction collections.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“The text is accessible with a fairly straightforward factual style that works well for the serious nature of the topic...Young readers interested in species at risk and wildlife conservation will enjoy the learning experience provided. Highly Recommended.”


CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens  | 2020 | Commended
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books  | 2021 | Commended
American Society of Journalists and Author's Award  | 2021 | Winner

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