Easily the unanimous favorite in three years of home-education. Appropriate for all ages, as is typical with Apologia. This was not dumbed down nor narrow in it's scope-- from mammals, to marine reptiles, to conchology, and microscopic creatures-- and everything in between. Even mom got a thorough education, and my pupils looked forward to learning every day (this is huge!). Excellent hands on activities.
My student needed another science credit and asked for this over any other. Information packed; requires student to apply information to formulate answers to questions because they aren't all readily available within the text. Love Apologia products!
Though my students both were already taking another science course, this was requested. They both thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that they often do non-required research on marine topics. Neither considered the book difficult, but because they enjoyed the study so much, they retained information and found the reading interesting. They appreciated the range of topics--plants, animals, ecology, geology, geography of the marine world. It is set up like all upper level apologia texts, so the format is easy and predictable. Labs are quite doable.
Like another reviewer, this was the very first Apologia textbook that we used. We actually only did a few chapters of this book, due to my poor planning as a newbie homeschooling mom. I plan to break this one back out and do it again in a couple of years (we're doing Apologia's Anatomy text next year). Even though we started this book a few years ago, my kids still remember a lot of fun facts. It'll be fun to dive back in to this one (we'll start from the beginning again because there's a lot of vocab they need to know) and really get back into it. Pun was totally intended. It's a great book. Prepare to have materials on hand for a lot of dioramas and fun projects outlined in the text.
This was the first Apologia science I used and it hooked me. Love the amount of info. I learn from everyone we do. However I wish there were some tests or worksheets just to judge how the kids are absorbing. I know it goes against our homeschool mentality of its better not too test but I much prefer the higher level science formats. Especially if you are new to homeschooling. It's harder for me to convince newbies to give it a try.