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category: Children's Nonfiction
published: Oct 2020
publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Return from Extinction

The Triumph of the Elephant Seal

by Linda L. Richards

tagged: environmental conservation & protection, marine life, environmental science & ecosystems

Less than 100 years ago, the northern elephant seal was thought to be extinct. Today more than 250,000 elephant seals swim in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Mexico.

In Return from Extinction: The Triumph of the Elephant Seal Linda L. Richards tells the story of their dramatic recovery. Elephant seals were hunted to near extinction for their precious oil before the Mexican government stepped in to protect them. Many people thought it was too late. Even though the life of the elephant seal is difficult and only 20 percent of pups born will make it to adulthood, the species adapted and came back from the brink. They are a true conservation success story.

About the Author

Linda L. Richards is a journalist, photographer and author of 15 books, including Return From Extinction: The Triumph of the Elephant Seal in the Orca Wild series. She is the former publisher of Self-Counsel Press and the founder and publisher of January Magazine. Linda lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 12
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Commended, Children’s Book Council & National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Books
  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools
  • Commended, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books
  • Commended, CBC-NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
Editorial Reviews

“Plenty of facts...A nice mix of photographs enliven the pages…Natural-history nonfiction [that] endearingly reflects the author’s enthusiasm.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Richards creates a compelling journey. Her style could be described as Mary Roach for children…An ecological success story with humor and heart that earns its place in any middle grade library.”

— School Library Journal

“A great addition to the literature on marine mammals of North America while also introducing some of the people and methods used in the study of these top predators. Highly Recommended.”

— CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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