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Clive Cussler is a world rearctic drift.jpgnown adventure author with many successful books behind him, and Arctic Drift, which was co-authored with his son Dirk Cussler, is no acceptation. The breathtaking suspense and vivid descriptions make this book hard to put down. In fact, I read this 515-page novel in only two sittings over a period of twenty-four hours. This book is part of an ongoing saga that focuses on the adventures of one main character: Dirk Pitt. He is a former Air Force major and is currently the director of the United States National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA), which is basically NASA for the oceans. Dirk is always ready for an adventure and has proved time and time again that no odds are too great for his unshakable iron will and sharp mind to tackle. With his best friend and college Al Giordino at his side there is no obstacle that he cannot overcome.

Arctic Drift is a classic Clive Cussler novel; it is packed full of narrow escapes and running fights against trained hit-man and hired thugs. However, this book addresses the topic of global warming in a way that none of his other books do. In fact, global warming is what this book draws upon to create an action packed tale about Dirk Pitt. It starts out with his son and daughter discovering an alarmingly high acidity level off the coast of British Columbia. They eventually trace the source of this acid to a ruthless billionaire that is pumping carbon dioxide into the ocean. This same man is also responsible for inflaming the tension between Canada and the United States by intentionally causing a rash of international incidents against Canada that he frames on the United States. Due to the tension caused over Canada claiming the Northwest Passage, which has recently opened up because of global warming, these neighboring countries come close to starting World War Three. Throughout all of this Dirk is trying to track down the long forgotten source of a rare metal that could potentially stop global warming. However, there is a hired assassin determined to thwart him at every turn. In Arctic Drift Clive Cussler has managed to create a tale that not only discusses many factual causes and concerns about global warming, but also a tale that is packed full of suspense and adventure.

Ideas for Teaching:
This book would be ideal for any high school class language arts class. It has enough action to keep the students engaged, while also bringing up the topic of global warming. While some of Dirk’s adventures are obviously fictional, the vast majority, if not all, of the facts pertaining to global warming in this book are based in science. It is important to note that while there are gun battles, explosions, and life and death situations very often, this is not a gruesome or gory book. It does not focus on the bodily damage inflicted, but rather explains the events in vivid details. Students would be able to read this book on their own with little to no difficulty. There is no outrageous vocabulary used and the events are explained in a very clear and detailed fashion.

Teaching Resources:
After reading this book, students would be able to pick from many examples of global warming discussed in this novel and then do research papers pertaining to their chosen topic. Here are some examples of topics they could pick from:

Useful links for teachers:
  • Official Clive Cussler home page
  • The true NUMA, founded by Cussler

Created by: Lucas Wilkins