"I had a blank canvas to fill witH extraordinary possibilities."

Macmillan/Henry Holt Fall 2020
Macmillan/Henry Holt Fall 2020

MARIE'S OCEAN has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection. 


Kirkus Reviews describes MARIE'S OCEAN as "A winning combination of lyric description, accessible explanation, scientific history, feminism, and accomplishment."  


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Marie Tharp said about her groundbreaking work, "I had a blank canvas to fill with extraordinary possibilities."  I felt similarly when embarking upon my journey to tell her tale.  Tharp's life story is fascinating.  She was the first person to map the ocean floor and discovered the largest geological feature on earth; a rift valley which encircles the entire globe. Her astounding discovery supported the theory of continental drift which led to the unifying theory of plate tectonics. It was not an easy road, and Marie struggled to receive the credit she deserved for her discovery. From Marie Tharp's earliest childhood dreams all the way to her defining achievement, this is the story of one of earth science's greatest hidden figures.


I have been writing and illustrating as JoAnn Adinolfi for a long time and it felt right to move forward into a new chapter of writing and illustrating with a name that gives me strength and confidence, so I combined my parents' names. I hope that all the books I create as Josie James demonstrate joy, humor, creativity and integrity and bring stories to life in the best tradition of children's literature. My book, MARIE'S OCEAN tells the story of  great geologist and cartographer, whose name you probably don't know, Marie Tharp. She was a great person and so is my mother, Josephine Adinolfi, and so was my father, James Adinolfi, who died in May of 2020. Remembering names and lives well lived is the joy of story telling.  I hope that I make my parents proud.  Miss you Daddy, every day.