Spiral Notebook
Octopus Update and New Book News!
by Harriet Low
January 12, 2017
Octopus Update and New Book News!

In Scientists in the Field title The Octopus Scientists, Sy Montgomery and Keith Ellenbogen invited readers to learn more about these fascinating, strange, and highly intelligent invertebrates. Not only does Montgomery provide tons of fun facts (like how octopuses have three hearts, blue blood, and skin that can taste,) but she also writes about how octopuses are, in fact, mollusks lacking a shell, something most of their relatives use.

While not wearing a shell leaves octopuses “an unptrotected packet of tasty protein for predators,” it has “allowed octopuses more active lives” and “brought dangers demanding snap judgments,” perhaps encouraging these incredible creatures to become keenly intelligent.

Sy’s appreciation for octopuses hasn’t gone unnoticed. On a recent trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston, members of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers team met the octopus whose tasting tentacles you can see below–and who’s named Sy, in Montgomery’s honor!

Members of HMH Books for Young Reader’s marketing, publicity, and editorial teams were at the aquarium to meet with senior aquarist/scientist Scott Dowd and some of the aquarium staff about Ellenbogen and Montgomery’s forthcoming SITF book, Amazon Adventure: How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rainforest. Coming out this July, Amazon Adventure explores how tiny fish, called piabas, can not only help to preserve the rainforest and it’s often misunderstood inhabitants, but improve the fate of our entire environment.

Be sure to read The Octopus Scientists for a better look at the minds of these amazing creatures, and look for Amazon Adventure this summer!

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