Educator’s Guide: Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner

Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner
Ages 8-12
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When chance, or fate, throws two twelve-year-olds together on board a scientific research ship at the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s not all smooth sailing!

Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.

When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom—let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?

Consider the Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.


Praise for Consider the Octopus

A breath of fresh air. Clever plotting sprinkled with humor and accessible STEM references made this a joyful, bingeable adventure you won’t want to put down.” —Christine Taylor-Butler, author of The Lost Tribes series

“Funny, fast-paced, and super-engaging, Consider the Octopus is sure to inspire readers to embrace their strengths and change their world.” —Joy McCullough, author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost

“Superlative writing and character development uplift this timely story . . . An inspiring tale of friendship and conservation.” —Kirkus Reviewsstarred review

“With nonstop action . . . and empathetic characters, this is a fast, fun read. A sure winner for readers interested in the environment and adventure, or even just in adventure.” —School Library Journal