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The Mighty O, an unsinkable aircraft carrier, lies on the ocean floor off the coast of Florida. Why and how did it get there?

After 20 years of service protecting our nation, the Mighty O has a new assignment, to protect the sea life and become an artificial reef. Due to overfishing, pollution, and warming water temperatures, artificial reefs are needed to replace the dying natural reefs. But how will they precisely sink a ship of that size in exactly the right spot?

Find out how the Mighty O becomes a reef in the sensational picture book, GREAT CARRIER REEF by Jessica Stremer. It’s illustrated by Gordy Wright and let me tell you, the illustrations are phenomenal! As a scuba diver myself, he brilliantly captures the beauty of the world beneath the waves.

Author’s name:  Jessica Stremer

Illustrator’s name:  Gordy Wright

Publisher: Holiday House

To buy: or

Other upcoming book titles: 

  1. LIGHTS OUT: A Movement to Help Migrating Birds (S&S – March 2024); 
  1. FIRE ESCAPE: How Animals and Plants Survive Wildfires (Holiday House – Summer 2024) no cover or pre-sale link yet; 
  2. Stay tuned…

Agent: Natascha Morris

Agency: Tobias Agency

Hometown: Wisconsin

1. What are 5 things you want people to know about your book?

-In 2021, GCR received Honorable Mention for the Ann Whitford Paul Most Promising Picture Book Manuscript Award.

-GCR went through one “revise and resubmit” before being acquired.

-The hardest part about writing this book was balancing the ship’s military history and it’s new future as an artificial reef.

-To verify the accuracy of this story, I spoke with biologists responsible for monitoring the reef and the team that sent the USS Oriskany to the bottom of the ocean.

-GCR has received 2 starred reviews, which I’m extremely proud of!

2. What are 5 helpful hints or tips you wish you had known before starting this publishing journey?

-Your writing support group will change over time, just like any relationship naturally evolves. Embrace the season of writing you’re currently in.

-It’s ok to walk away from a manuscript if it isn’t working and it’s ok if you never return to it.

 -It’s also ok to take a break. Take care of yourself, whatever that looks like for you. The words will return when it’s time.

-“Not right now” doesn’t mean “never.”

-Edelweiss is a great tool for obtaining arcs and researching comps.

-AR Bookfinder is a great resource for learning a story’s word count and suggested audience.

3. What are 5 fun/quirky facts about yourself as an adult or child?

-I love to snorkel but have never been scuba diving

-I’m afraid of heights but often have dreams that I’m flying

-I love to travel. Of all the places I’ve visited, Ireland was my favorite

-Titanic is the only movie I can remember lines from

-I could live on peanut butter, pretzels, and chocolate chips.

4. Where are 5 places you get inspiration for your stories?

-News stories




-Everyday life

5. What are 5 book recommendations (any genre)?

-SUPERPOD by Nora Nickum (mg nf)

-AMERICAN MURDERER by Gail Jarrow (mg nf)

-PANDO by Kate Allen Fox (pb)

-SWASHBY AND THE SEA by Beth Ferry (pb)

-HONEYBEE by Candace Flemming (pb) 


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