Astro the Steller Sea Lion
By Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
What do you do with a sea lion who refuses to live in the wild? That’s the problem facing scientists at the Marine Mammal Center in California after they rescue an orphaned Steller sea lion. Without their help, the sea lion, whom they named Astro, would not have survived. But after he was full-grown and released into the wild, Astro kept coming back. He was so bonded to humans that he could not live in the wild.
Astro, the Steller Sea Lion tells the story of Astro and his scientist friends. The book details how the scientists saved Astro’s life and tried to release him into the wild to live with other sea lions. There are humorous moments, such as the time Astro crashed a birthday party in a field near San Francisco Bay. However, the book does not shy away from the problem: Astro was a wild animal who could not live in the wild. Finally, the scientists came up with the perfect solution. The book follows Astro’s journey to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut and shows how he settled into his new life there.
This delightful book is perfect for third grade readers. The writing is a good fit for a third grade reading level, and children will enjoy the warm and bright full-color illustrations. The book could also be an inspiring read aloud as well as a great source for reading and writing activities in a unit on sea life. Extensive back matter includes information on Steller sea lions and a map activity centered around the events in Astro’s life, and more free resources are available from the publisher online. These features add to the book’s classroom value. Astro the Steller Sea Lion would be a perfect addition to any third grade reading list.