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Book Review: Oil Spill: Disaster In The Gulf

New book for kids explains environmental issues

By Alysa Goethe | null null , null

Oil Spill: Disaster In The Gulf
Authors: Mona Chiang, Cody Crane, Karina Hamalainen, and Lynda Jones
Published by: Scholastic Inc.
Length of Book: 31 pages

If you want to know all about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Scholastic has the book for you. Oil Spill: Disaster In The Gulf has a lot of information about that and other spills the U.S. has faced.

The book includes interviews with experts and a kid-friendly explanation of why oil is so important to our country. You will also learn about the environmental implications and the spill’s affect on animals.

When an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 20 of this year, it killed 11 workers, and began spewing thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Located 50 miles south of the Louisiana coastline, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig continued to pollute the Gulf for more than 90 days before it was temporarily plugged.

After 100 days, leaks are still occurring and BP, the oil company that operates the rig, is still trying to cap it for good. As of August 1, more than 5 million gallons of oil had been released into the Gulf, making it the worst oil spill in American history.

Oil Spill: Disaster In The Gulf is full of interesting facts about other major oil spills in America, such as the Trans-Alaska pipeline spill. The Trans-Alaska pipeline is the longest undetected leak in the U.S. It happened in March of 2006 and went five days without being detected.

Animals affected by the spill include bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, fish, and shellfish. Bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales have to come to the surface to breath. Fumes from the oil can affect their lungs.

Shellfish, like oysters and clams, can’t swim so they can’t get away from the oil. Blue fish tuna lay eggs in the gulf every spring and summer. The eggs float on the surface of the water. They become coated with oil and die.

I learned all of this from Oil Spill: Disaster In The Gulf. I would recommend this book to everyone interested in the facts surrounding the oil spill, as well as the history of past spills that are still affecting our country and its resources.

Editor's Note:
Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf was created especially for Scholastic Book Club readers and is available in Book Clubs' Lucky and Arrow September offers, in Arrow and Tab October offers, as well as online at


Kid Reporters investigate how the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being cleaned up and how the spill has impacted the people, animals, and environment of the Gulf coast. Their reports -- along with other useful resources -- can be found in the Gulf Oil Spill Recovery Special Report.


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