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Astonishing Discoveries of Life on Earth

by Elin Kelsey

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-897066-31-7
Publisher: Raincoast

Despite its rather sensational title, this offering presents many species that are neither strange nor new, but are rather hitherto undiscovered by science. This cavil aside, there’s a wealth of information presented, from “new” species of just about every kind of life form—including those that belong to the newly designated kingdom of Archaea—to the DNA analysis that has helped to differentiate between “old” and “new” species to the genetic manipulation that is creating genuinely new life forms. And more! It’s an astoundingly busy volume, each spread illustrated with color photographs and illustrations, bright sidebars and boxes competing for attention with the primary text. Such a treatment prohibits in-depth exploration, but that’s not really the point here; rather, it gives readers a kaleidoscopic view of the seemingly infinite possibilities of biological research. Quick biographical snippets on the various scientists always include their childhood interests (or lack thereof) in their chosen fields, lending a “you can do it too” enthusiasm to the whole affair. Kelsey’s infectious eagerness and her eye for the kid-friendly detail may have what it takes to convert the most confirmed science-phobes. (glossary, Web sites, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)