Thursday, July 27, 2017


Author Sy Montgomery

In the Amazon, people say pink river dolphins can shape-shift and jaguars visit shamans in visions. But tiny, beautiful, freshwater tropical fish there may have greater powers yet. With help from Scott Dowd, New England Aquarium aquarist and head of the internationally renowned organization Project Piaba, these living gems are saving the world’s greatest rainforest from destruction. Sy Montgomery, author of National Book Award finalist “Soul of an Octopus,” joined Scott on an expedition to research her newest book, “Amazon Adventure: How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rainforest.” To celebrate the book’s launch, Sy and Scott shared stories, illustrated by stunning photographs by acclaimed photographer Keith Ellenbogen. The lecture was preceded by fun children’s activities designed to teach them more about Project Piaba and followed by a book signing by Sy and Scott.

Publishers Weekly recently published a review of Sy’s book. In part, it read;

This addition to the Scientists in the Field series follows Scott Dowd, senior aquarist at the New England Aquarium and self-proclaimed “fish nerd,” as he ventures into the Amazon as part of ongoing efforts to protect tiny tropical fish that fill aquariums around the world. Montgomery (The Tapir Scientist) joins Dowd and others who are part of Project Piaba (“small fry” in Portuguese) as they head up Brazil’s Río Negro. Color photographs (many underwater) and captivating, take-you-there storytelling immerse readers in the ecosystem: “We pass trees that seem to be barely holding their crowns above the water…. We’re hot, eager to enter the cool, dark river. Within a minute, tiny fish are nipping at our skin.” The journey includes a visit to an ornamental fish festival that explodes with its own color. Addendums to each chapter provide facts on other, sometimes deadly, Amazon species. The message underneath this true and fascinating fish tale: protecting fish, such as cardinal tetras, and the sustainable fisheries and fishers (piabeiros) that catch them, can help protect the Amazon rainforest itself. An expansive and engaging story of biological interconnectedness and beauty. Ages 10–12.