Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” as Want to Read:
Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Three scientists are on a mission to study a massive accumulation of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, AKA the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The scientific method unfolds as they conduct their investigation. Their adventures introduce readers to the basics of ocean science and the hazards of plastics.
--Green Earth Book Award
--Junior Library Guild Selection
--AAAS/Subaru SB&F
Hardcover, all, 48 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Millbrook Press (Tm)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Plastic, Ahoy!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Plastic, Ahoy!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Norma Vantrease
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written for Grades 4-8, Plastic Ahoy! chronicles a team of young scientists who sailed across the Pacific Ocean toward a massive accumulation of trash know as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Using the scientific method, the team conducted many experiments they hoped would answer some tough questions. How much trash was in the Garbage Patch, and how was it affecting marine life?

Most of the trash they found was plastic: some as large as water bottles and others as small as pebbles. These pebbles,
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book to pair with Tracking Trash and Eyes Wide Open.
T Crockett
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The images are terrific. This book is more about how these scientists conducted their research, than plastic in the ocean. It raises many questions which remain unanswered at the end of the book. A good book for sharing how science is conducted.
Marybet Hudson
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to share this book with my 5th grade class. I think the information is compelling, though the research wasn't finished, so there are lots of questions and very few concrete answers.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Check out my review of Patricia's book from American Scientist magazine!
Amanda Walz
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is a little dry to read but full of valuable information. It left me with many questions and a strong drive to be as conscience as I can about the amount of plastic I use. It's very scary to consider what this garbage patch is doing to our world. I know I need to do my part and reduce the amount of plastic I use.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
As an inspiration to future scientists, this book introduces youngsters to an interesting study of the effect of plastics in the ocean.

I’m curious why the author chose these three female scientists to spotlight when there were four other students on the cruise. I wonder who the volunteers were and what other research the ship supports.
Each page is nicely set against a pale sea green background. Some of the side bars are presented within the outline of a common plastic bottle. Diagrams help expl
Roberta Gibson
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Have you heard about the huge patches of plastic debris that have accumulated in our oceans? Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman, with photographs by Annie Crawley is a middle grade book that follows three young graduate students who take a voyage in 2009 to observe and sample the patch that has formed in the northern Pacific.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was not discovered until 1997, although it has probably been in existence much longer than th
Sharon Tyler
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman, with photography by Annie Crawley, is a children's non fiction book about a scientific expedition known as SEAPLEX. A team of scientists set out to study a massive accumulation of plastic in the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They have a lot of questions about the plastic. How does it affect ocean life? Is it dangerous? And exactly how much is out there? The team of researchers use the scie ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: budding oceanography interests
Recommended to Joan by: Someone at ALA
I read and wrote this while pretty tired so I may have to revise this later. This was recommended to me at ALA and I can see why. It is a very approachable look at what plastic is doing to the ocean and life within the ocean (quick summary: nothing good!). It follows several graduate students as they take a boat out to the Great Plastic Garbage Patch to do research on the plastic there in the gyre. This was a new word for me but the book explained it as the interior of a location surrounded by s ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
PLASTIC AHOY! INVESTIGATING THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH by Patricia Newman tells the story of scientists investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The narrative unfolds as a mystery being solved by a team of scientists lead by three female researchers.

Written for grades 4-8, this highly illustrated work of nonfiction contains photographs, diagrams, and a map to help readers understand the science behind the exciting research project. Up-close photos show scientific experiments in action
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This type of narrative nonfiction is perfect for capturing the attention of young readers. The vivid color photos add more interest to a story that is fascinating all on its own. Plastic, Ahoy! tells about a scientific expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the researchers who were on the voyage. Each of the featured researchers focused on a different question,such as how the plastic floating in the ocean affects phytoplankton. General questions guided their initial study, but as they ...more
Laura Salas
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was fun to get a bird's-eye view of an ocean expedition to investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. When I was a kid growing up in Florida, I wanted to be a marine biologist--at least for awhile. This book let me ride along and see how a group of scientists explore the North Pacific Central Gyre, where ocean currents deliver and trap tons of plastic litter. How does the plastic affect marine life? How does it affect life on Earth? Those are the questions researchers had in mind on this th ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another short informational book full of photographs, sidebars, and diagrams, this time about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a 7-9 million square mile accumulation of whole, broken, and pulverized plastic toothbrushes, fishing nets, buoys, water bottles, ropes, etc., caught in a huge mass mid-Pacific Ocean roughly north of the Hawaiian Islands and stretching from west of San Diego and Oregon east almost to Japan and Indonesia.

The narrative follows three (female) PdD students and other
Shaeley Santiago
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book follows three researchers on a SEAPLEX expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Central Gyre. One scientist was studying how the plastic impacted the rafting community ("tiny organisms that hitch rides on plastic pieces"), another studied phytoplankton and how they were affected by all the plastic pieces floating in the ocean, and the third scientist studied the chemicals leached out of the plastic and how those chemicals affected ocean life. There were actual ...more
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: green, j, nonfic
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a giant pile of garbage. Scientists have studied the phenomenon, and the creators of this book journeyed to witness science in action. They focus on three scientists, and show some of the methods of study. Text is broken up with plentiful photographs of things found in the ocean and the scientists at work. Maps display how all that garbage got there. This phenomenon in the world deserves all the publicity it can get, and the straightforward approach here is ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Offers a wake-up call for the way we leave our footprint even on remote places of the Earth."

Join a scientific expedition in the Pacific Ocean! Follow scientists on a three week journey to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; a gyre in the in Pacific Ocean where a lot of human waste especially plastics have gathered.
The scientific method will guide kids through the process of asking questions, forming a hypothesis, experimenting and processing data to form conclusions.

Plastic, Ahoy! researchers as
Full review at:

At my school, I am an adviser of Future Problem Solvers which is a club that looks at futuristic issues and, by using the 6-step creative problem solving process, tries to come up with an action plan to solve the futuristic problems. One of our past competitions had the topic of “Ocean Soup,” and my students and I did research about the state of our ocean. It was at that time that I became aware of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and was di
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile, nonfiction
Like all plants, phytoplankton give off oxygen. They release it as a product of photosynthesis. In fact, the ocean contains so many phytoplankton that they produce half to two-thirds of all of Earth's oxygen. That means they make the oxygen for nearly two of every three breaths we take! p. 25-26.

Book Trailer

This was a really quick read full of interesting information. The book follows three female scientists who are interested in figuring out the effects
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is packed with detailed scientific information. It is relatively easy to understand, with a clear understanding of the vocabulary used. I like the format; following the projects of three researchers studying the problem. It is a beautiful book, full of color photographs and clear distinctions between sections. However, I would like to have seen a more distinct introduction to the topic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not common knowledge among children and I feel that the introduct ...more
An engaging, thorough non-fiction read. Several elements take this above many similar NF titles:

Sidebars outline clearly how the scientists' work and experiments use the scientific method.

The text includes questions on many levels, as well as the process the scientists go through in answering one question, which leads to another one they have to design an experiment to answer, and on and on. It also explicitly states that often their questions (experiments) led to more questions.

Three young sc
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the type of nonfiction I really enjoy reading (maybe I just have the mind of a middle schooler!). It is on a fascinating subject I know little about. It contains all kinds of useful information with lots of pictures. And it isn't so long that I lose interest.

Plastic Ahoy is all about a scientific expedition called SEAPLEX that traveled out into the Pacific Ocean to investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The scientists onboard wanted to learn how the plastic was affecting the marin
Kate Hastings
Grades 4-8. Three scientists travel to the Pacific Garbage Patch to see what effect plastics are having on the environment. Plastic bottle shaped text boxes demonstrate how they use the scientific method to make hypotheses.

It was interesting to see how many animals were making a new home out of the plastic.

What I imagined was a garbage island floating out in the ocean, but it isn't really like that. Much of the bigger plastic floats just below the surface. Sun and waves make the bulk of the pla
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
Shelves: 5-8-non-fiction
The description of the "Great American Garbage Patch" a huge field of plastic in the Pacific Ocean is upsetting and mind boggling in Plastic, Ahoy! Told through the perspective of three young scientists who were part of the Scripps Environment Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX), the reader gets a birds eye view of the discoveries these young women made beneath the sea. The book describes the stages of scientific inquiry, equipment used, and the living organisms they researched under th ...more
Meghan Nels
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Plastic Ahoy! tells an informative story about a group of graduate students and scientists who set out to investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it's effect on marine life. Through colorful spreads and wonderful photographs the reader is drawn into the text to read about their discoveries. The three graduate students on board had specific questions and studies to perform on this trip. Within the book, they each share their studies and results. At the end of the book suggestions for what ...more
Sandy Stiles
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the year that we explore trash in 5th grade library skills and this book is a great start. It follows three graduate students as they explore the Great Pacific Garbage Patch 1,000 miles off the west coast of the U.S. As readers, we get a glimpse of these young scientists' thinking and hypotheses, as well as the details of their experiments. Great pictures and interesting side-notes round out the book. Some of the text bogs down a little in scientific information, although young biologist ...more
A nonfiction picture book following researchers studying the great Pacific garage patch. The reader not only learns about the devastating impact that plastic is having on the ocean's environment but also is able to see the scientific method in action on relevant areas of study. Although some of the science is complex, much of it is accessible to middle grade readers and will give them some insight to an environmental issue that will play a part in their future. The additional information in the ...more
Darcy Pattison
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this fascinating book, Ann Newman follows scientists as they investigate plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean. The Great Garbage Patch encompasses a 500-mile radius and affects the ocean’s health and endangers wildlife. Illustrated with full color photos, Newman’s book is direct and simple for kids to understand, yet brings the details of this environmental crisis to light in ways that kids can relate to. Regardless of where you live—landlocked or ocean-side—Newman’s book explains the situa ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Approximately 2 months ago, a whale washed up on the shores of South America. Cause of death: ingested garbage from Norway. I found that incredible and incredibly sad.

I think this book is an important lesson to the world about our oceans and how we treat them and those who have to live in them. Picture format with narrative really brings exactly the problems in the ocean to life.

On that note, there is a whole lotta of highly scientific lessons that are really targeted for the older juvenile re
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
For a slightly younger reader than Tracking Trash by Loree Griffin Burns, this book also focuses more on the impact of the trash on the creatures in the sea than on the physics of ocean waves. The story also does an excellent job of describing the scientific process and the experiments of the three researchers. Wonderful photographs add nicely to the story. I liked the suggestions and tips for dealing with trash for readers who will surely feel impelled to do something about their own trash. A g ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Plastic, Ahoy in the classroom 1 4 Feb 03, 2014 01:45PM  
  • Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands
  • Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead
  • Feathers: Not Just for Flying
  • Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey
  • The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins
  • Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature
  • Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
  • Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?
  • Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do
  • Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat
  • Parrots Over Puerto Rico
  • Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree
  • Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos
  • The Mystery of Darwin's Frog
  • Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table
  • Pink Is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals
  • The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
  • Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives
Writing for children is the hardest thing I’ve ever done—the field is intensely competitive. But I write because I can’t imagine not writing. I write for myself and for the kids who read my work. I write for the joy of seeing a kid sitting in the front row at a school visit, hand stretched high to answer my questions. I write for the kid who tells me he already owns one of my books and has read it ...more