Liz Summit Purple with tagline.png

I'm a New York City based kidlit writer, diver & adventurer. I love sharing the mysteries of the deep with kids of all ages who love adventure.

If I could live anywhere I wanted to, it would be at the bottom of the ocean or in a tree house that I designed myself.

If I were a character in a novel, I'd choose a middle grade adventure novel, just like the kind I like to write! 

Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

I've been thinking a lot about maps this summer, perhaps inspired by the research I did for a new article on Marie Tharp that will be in Spigot Magazine this fall. Marie made an amazing map of the ocean floor. (More about her amazing work later, when my article comes out!)

I like maps. I like the sense of where I'm going, where I've been, and how far I have to go. I love making maps for friends when I draw directions for them. Usually, my maps have funny little drawings and things to be sure to see along the way.

So, this morning, I was excited to read this cool article about hand made globes. You can see the photos here: Bellerby Globemakers . Aren't they amazing? I love how unique and different they all are. I loved seeing the globe makers hand painting maps. Although these are still photos, you can almost see the globe painter making the next stroke. I never imagined that globes had paper maps on top of them. I think it might be a little bit like papier mâché, layering the globes with patches of paper. The more I looked at their beautiful colors and careful paintings, the more I thought about different kinds of maps.

Here is a cool map of all of the rivers in the United States drawn by Nelson Minar.

Photo Credit: Nelson Minar's Beautiful Map of Rivers in the United States. (Flickr, 2013)

Here's a cool map of the elements (natural materials) found on the moon! (Published by the U.S. Geological Survey).

Photo Credit: Geological Moon Map, U.S. Geological Survey

Maps don't just have to be about places we visit. They can be maps of places we love, made up places (remember Harry Potter's Marauder's Map?), or even, things we imagine! Here is an old map of the earth without water!

Maybe because I had been thinking about maps this summer, I was inspired on vacation to make a map. It probably won't surprise you that it's an underwater map! On my first shore dive of the trip (a super cool dive where you just walk into the water from shore), I found an octopus hiding in a hole under a sponge. I drew a map to his house so I could find it again (I'm not really sure if it was a male or a female octopus, but I imagined it was a "he.").

Here is my map. I drew it on a special slate (like hard, underwater paper) with pencil while I was underwater. That way, I wouldn't forget how to get there!

Photo Credit: Liz Summit, 2015

So, to find my octopus, I had to dive to 26 feet under the water. Then, I had to set my compass to 15 degrees north (more about compasses another time!). If I did that, I would find a big sponge that looked like swiss cheese. Underwater one way of measuring distance is through kick cycles. You count how many times you kick (like how many steps you take). That helps to measure how far you need to go. The swiss cheese sponge appeared after I kicked 19 times. Then a big hole. And, if I did everything right, after 21 kick cycles (that's what KC is on the map. KC= kick cycle), I would arrive at the octopus!

Here he is!

Photo Credit: Liz Summit, 2015

So, how did I do? Do you think you could follow my map to find the octopus?

What do you want to make a map of?

Underwater Cereal

Underwater Clean Up Service!

Underwater Clean Up Service!