The Frog Scientist
by Pamela S. Turner. Illustrated by Andy Comins. Nonfiction. 58 pages. Grades 4-9.
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Tyrone Hayes was born in a coloreds-only hospital in South Carolina in 1967. Excelling in school he heard about Harvard on an episode of "Green Acres" on TV, applied and was accepted. He went on to become a university biologist and an expert on frogs. Specifically, he studies how pesticides affect frog populations and the implications for humans.
Amphibians around the world are experiencing a dramatic decline in numbers. This book details one of Hayes' experiments and his team of college students who carry it out with him. Hayes' passion and strong work ethic are contagious and a worthy model for readers wondering what might be possible for them. This is another great entry in the "Scientists in the Field" series.
Turner writes compelling text, a reflection of her own excitement in getting to know Hayes and his team and traipsing along with them to collect frogs and do their experiments. The photos by Comins are fascinating and essential to the experience of looking in on this amazing science in process.
Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea by Sy Montgomery. Illustrated by Nic Bishop. (2006, Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780618496419. Order Info.) Photo Essay. 80 pages. Gr 3-9.
When the rare tree kangaroo is perched high in a tree it looks a little like a monkey and a little like a bear but it is actually a kind of kangaroo. This engrossing book follows scientist Lisa Dabek's adventures in Papau New Guinea tracking down the mysterious creature. Remarkable photographs and engaging writing. This is another brilliant book by the Montgomery/Bishop team. Read More.
Grades 3 - 9
It's Our World Too: Young People Who Are Making a Difference: How They Do It--How You Can, Too! by Phillip Hoose. Nonfiction. 176 pages.
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So much of the news of young people in our society is sad that it was fun to read It's Our World Too. I thought by the cover that these were all young adults but the chapter that moved me most was about a class of first and second graders in Sweden who bought a rain forest. The writing is personal, emotional and so skillful that the young people cited here seem real and not too good to be true. Their projects were/are worthwhile, possible to emulate, and inspiring. This is a book to hand to students and teachers who are reading about the environment, the homeless, the handicapped and the disenfranchised and are feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about any and all of these problems. Read More.