There’s nothing rotten about this book—it’s a keeper.



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)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-900-9

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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With breezy text and lively graphics featuring a mixed group of young people, this book answers its title question by discussing climate change, pollution, exploitation of natural resources, waste, hunger and the impact of human actions on wildlife. Topics are addressed in chapters titled with questions—“What’s the problem?” “But what about cars?” and “Why are trees important?”—and statements—“Boy, have we messed up!” The answers weave in historical background, clear explanations of the problems and some solutions. This is a more substantive treatment of the issues than its bouncy design might suggest. Sprinkled throughout are one-line eco-tips, summarized toward the end in “5 best ways to make a difference.” From time to time, boxes labeled “FACT!” offer interesting statistics and comparisons, although few sources are mentioned. A lengthy list of organizations and websites, a glossary (of words bolded in the text) and a useful index complete the package. First published in England, this emphasizes the need for international cooperation and offers a refreshing approach to a topic that is not going away. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7641-4427-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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