The discoveries that arise from our flattened fauna will amaze you!
Montgomery’s story—part memoir, part scientific overview—begins with a squashed snake and follows her as she learns more and more about the animals she finds run over on the side of the road. Animals explored range from snakes to coyotes and deer, and although some international animals are discussed, the primary focus remains on those squished Stateside. For all the literal blood and guts, the tone of the book is light and slightly irreverent, but it never mocks either the animals or the scientists and volunteers who work with roadkill. Footnotes abound to help explain the occasional tangent or help readers understand more complex issues that are alluded to in the text. O’Malley’s black-and-white illustrations are peppered throughout the text, sometimes illustrating a moment from the text, sometimes providing a visual description of an animal, tool, or related object. The icing on the cake is the wealth of backmatter, which is divided into three sections: “Simple Acts Save Lives,” which provides practical tips for readers on how they can make an ecological impact; an annotated bibliography that’s divided by chapter, allowing browsers to find out more info on their specific interests; and an index.
There’s nothing rotten about this book—it’s a keeper. (Nonfiction. 10-14)