Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor” as Want to Read:
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.

Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one h
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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 Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  594 ratings  ·  142 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
I read Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea by Robert Burleigh, illustrations by Raul Colon for a Mock Caldecott group I am in here on Goodreads. Although I was supposed to rate the illustrations, I feel the book is worthy of award consideration for the story as well. This book features Marie Tharp a pioneer in the field of ocean topography at a time when women were few and far between in most scientific jobs. She charted the depth of the Atlantic Ocean and revolutionized plate tectonics- the idea t ...more
David Schaafsma
We have a lot of books stacked here for Women's history month, which looks like is being extended in this house. This book has a lovely title on a topic I knew very little about. Well, cartography is a long interest of mine--Maps and Dreams, Arctic Dreams, My Map Book, A Mapmaker’s Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice--oceanography I know less about.

Tharp, only recently recognized for her contributions to science, was a mapmaker's daughter, and she fought (as
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books Featuring the Scientific Process & Oceanographic Science
The daughter of a traveling surveyor, Marie Tharp grew up with a keen interest in maps and cartography, eventually going on to earn degrees in music, English, mathematics and geology. Despite the resistance to women participating fully in the sciences in the 1940s, she went on to get a job at the Lamont Geological Laboratory at Columbia University. Although not permitted to join oceanographic voyages - it was considered bad luck to have women on board, even at that late date! - she was the carto ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All the pieces come together here: informative text, fascinating science subject really well explained, stunningly gorgeous illustrations that also extend and inform the text. This is truly an outstanding book! Not only are the science elements well handled, the time and issues this remarkable woman had to deal with are there along with an excellent sense of what sort of person Marie Tharp was. Plus I think this really portrays what it is like to BE a scientist.
Interesting biography of a pioneering woman, like how it's written as if first person, lovely illustrations.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
How fascinating! I've never heard of Marie Tharp before but this tells a bit about her childhood, moving around the U.S. as her father created maps of the soil for farmers. Then after college, she became a scientist. Many people doubted women could make good scientists but Tharp proved herself as she used the soundings that male scientists took in the Atlantic Ocean to create a map of the ocean floor. Her map not only showed what the ocean floor was like but helped prove the theory of continenta ...more
Lesley Burnap
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful biography about scientist Maria Tharp and how she worked to map the ocean floor. A great story of perseverance and devotion. I love the women in science picture books that have come out in recent years-a terrific source of inspiration to young girls (and boys) who are drawn to similar passions.
Sarah Sammis
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Story about mapping the ocean floor. Raúl Colón's illustrations are GORGEOUS.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Raúl Colón, the team that brought us the story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, the pioneering astronomer, now tell the story of another remarkable woman, Marie Tharp (1920-2006), who helped to map the ocean floor.

The book is written in the first person, as if Marie Tharp herself were telling the story. Marie explains that her father’s job was to travel all over the U.S. making soil classification maps to aid farmers. This led to her own lifelong love of maps.

Jim Erekson
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So this is a very nice biography, and Colon's illustrations are marvelous as usual--texture, color, depth, control of static and dynamic lines. It's all we have come to expect. And Burleigh's writing is good, focusing on just the one slice of what he wanted me to think about. That's not the best part...

The moment that blew me away was halfway through the book, where Burleigh wrote,
"[Y]et a portrait of the ocean floor was coming into view.
But there was even more.
And then I turned the p
Why do we choose to read certain books over other titles? Hopefully it is a matter of choice usually based upon factors which fluctuate from book to book. Each Wednesday I am excited to participate in the 2016 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by educator Alyson Beecher on her blog, Kid Lit Frenzy. Why am I excited? This weekly invitation to participate has given me the opportunity to grow in learning about people, places, things, our natural world and global issues in the past, present a ...more
Do not judge a book by it's cover. Honestly, I have a stack of 30 books and I am picking the ones to read first that appeal to me on a base level. This book, visually did not appeal to me and I thought ''boring!! "
I LOVE MARIE THARP and her STORY IN THIS BOOK!! I like (not love) the illustrations and I can't give it super high marks because I am not a fan of the illustrations) I love the info and details. Read Marie Tharp Scientist at the end! YES! I LOVE MAPS!!!
Atlas Publishing
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is exceptional in many ways.

It tells the story of one of the twentieth century's great scientists, Marie Tharp. More particularly, it gives us a glimpse of her most significant scientific contribution, the mapping of the world's oceans.

One might think that I'm obviously not going to give the book a bad review because Marie Tharp shares my surname, but (1) Marie Tharp didn't actually write the book, and (2) I'd be more likely to thrash a mediocre book involving my surname than play ni
Ben Truong
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor is a children's picture book written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón. It chronicles the story on how Marie Tharp became the first to map the ocean floor.

March, at least in my part of the world is Women's History Month, which I plan to read one children's book, particularly a biography, which pertains to the subject everyday this month. Therefore, I thought that this book would be apropos for today.

Marie Tharp was
Hailey Coffey
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
1. Awards the book has received (if any)
CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Great Lakes Great Books Master List (MI)
CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Amelia Bloomer List
Illinois Reads Selection title
Eureka Nonfiction Honor Book
Wisconsin State Reading Association's Reading List
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Finalist
Cook Prize Finalist (Bank Street College of Education)
TX Topaz Nonfiction Read
Melissa Mcavoy
A beautifully illustrated biography of Marie Tharp who was the first to map the ocean floor and who helped to establish the theory of plate tectonics. Three things keep this from a five star rating: The story is told in first person and two clunky interjections set my teeth on edge with their false cheer- "I had attended seventeen schools by the time I graduated high school. Try topping that!" and text's final sentences- "And yes, my map helped prove the earth's surface is moving, too. But don't ...more
Marie Tharp grows up with a father who makes maps. He made maps to help farmers know about their land for the USDA. Marie was intriqued, but she wanted to be a scientist. This she did. She got a job in a Columbia University's ocean studies lab. She was posed to do what she wanted to do: map the ocean's floor. At that time in 1948, no one knew what the ocean's floor looked like. If there were mountains, no one knew it. If there were canyons, no one knew it. They didn't even know how deep it was. ...more
Marie Tharp is yet another woman whose role in major scientific discoveries I never learned about in school. A great subject, and Robert Burleigh hits just the right depth in the explaining underwater geology, cartograpy and plate tectonics. Raul Colon's illustrations are lovely as usual. My only criticism: the use of first person narrative here didn't work for me. Lines such as "Was I proud of myself? You bet." were too intermittent between regular prose to create a distinctive voice. I didn't ...more
Abigail Evans
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor, by Robert Burleigh is a about a young girl who decided to map the ocean floor, similar to his father’s job who was a map maker. This nonfictional book talked about Marie Tharp’s hardships in the science field since she was a woman. She was discriminated against for being a woman but she persisted through it and worker harder and harder each day. This book will teach young women that they can be anything, even if others think the ...more
Sofia Seledkov
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea by Robert Burleigh, Illustrated by Raul Colon, published in 2016. Illustrated biography that shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a
pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor. The
illustrations are colorful detailed so that the readers are able to have an insight on how beautiful and
magnificent the discovery and adventure really was.
Dean Wright
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a biography on Marie Tharp. When Marie was young she fell in love with maps. Maps were always around her because of her father's job. After she graduated she immediately wanted to begin working on group breaking research but was turned down because she was a woman, but she made her way from the bottom upwards, soon she used the technique "soundings" to begin mapping the ocean floor. Eventually she mapped the Atlantic floor and helped prove the tectonic plate theory.
Rachel Crowe
This book is a biography about a female scientist who was the first person to map the ocean floor. She got into it because her father used to make maps for farms. It was a rough ride for her because there was no female scientist known. She wanted to go onto boats but male sailers said that she was bad luck and that she could never come with her. She ended up getting what she wanted in the end. She became very successful and was the first person to understand the sea floor.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated. I don't like first person narrative for biographies, guessing at thoughts and feelings is an iffy business. Still manages to be mostly factual, and important in terms of being one of the few titles on one of the forgotten women of science, as well as an introduction to continental drift for kids
Laura White
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-ed-689
A biography of Marie Tharp, who was a lover of maps all her life, and made creating maps her career. Due to her mapping the ocean floor, she was fundamental in discovering that tectonic plates/land moves, which scientists had debated but not proved before. Includes some extra information about Marie, a glossary, and questions/activity suggestions in the back of the book.
Kris Dersch
This was awesome! I thought the first person narration was going to bother me but I got so into this story that it did not. I love the story, I love the way it unfolds, I love the explanations of the science concepts, and the 4-year-old was fascinated. Altogether great book.
Heather Johnson
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
A great addition to my knowledge of this incredible woman, especially after having finished “Super Women: 6 scientists who changed the world.” Loved reading this with Harper and Augie...although try explaining echo location to a five year old. I dare you!
I liked that the story was told in first person and showed the process of Tharp solving a problem. The illustrations were amazing! They looked like they could be a map. I wish the book was longer - it seemed like it was over too quickly.
Amanda Harrison
I like how this is in first person to better emphasize the difficulties Tharp faced in leading a life of science in the 1940's.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written in first person, I loved how Marie tells the story of her hard work and the hard, sometimes tedious work that scientists do.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a pretty book! So informative too. A must-have for your Women's History Month display or collection.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine
  • Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber
  • Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
  • Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
  • The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid
  • Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain
  • Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas
  • My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth
  • Dorothea's Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth
  • Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness
  • Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery
  • Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books
  • Ada's Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World's First Computer Programmer
  • Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
  • The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation
  • Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality
  • Before She Was Harriet
See similar books…
Over the past 35 years, I have published poems, reviews, essays, many filmstrips and videos, and more than 40 children's picture books.

Born and raised in Chicago, I graduated from DePauw University (Greencastle, Indiana) and later received an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. I've published books for children since the early 1990s. My books - including numerous unpublished ones! -