An overcrowded if heartfelt testament to a lifetime of concern for the natural world.

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GONE IS GONE

WILDLIFE UNDER THREAT

Photographs and examples from years of travel and wildlife observation support this introduction to current wildlife threats.

Humans are causing the sixth mass extinction in the animal world, but humans can also be part of the solution asserts Groc in her plea to restore nature’s balance. Opening with a depressing chapter of examples of disappearing species, she continues in a more positive vein, explaining how scientists study the issue. She points out possible remedies and concludes with a chapter offering ways readers can be involved. She explains important concepts—extinction, ecosystems, habitat, and climate change—and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The bulk of her narrative consists of anecdotes from her own experiences around the world: in old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest; on the Laysan Islands in the Pacific; in Alaska, Namibia, and the Galápagos; and more. Interrupting the narrative are full-page sidebars with stories of specific encounters and organized measures taken to protect wildlife. Words defined in the backmatter glossary are set off typographically within the text. The author/illustrator makes her call for action even more personal by including photos of her own children interacting with the natural world. But she has so many stories. With wave after wave of examples, she almost drowns the message. Nancy Castaldo’s Back From the Brink (2018) covers the same territory more succinctly.

An overcrowded if heartfelt testament to a lifetime of concern for the natural world. (resources, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1685-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A SHOT IN THE ARM!

From the Big Ideas That Changed the World series , Vol. 3

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) narrates this entry in the Big Ideas That Changed the World series, presenting the story of the development of vaccines.

Lady Mary, an intelligent, lovely White Englishwoman, was infected with smallpox in 1715. The disease left her scarred and possibly contributed to the failure of her marriage, but not before she moved with her husband to the Ottoman Empire and learned there of what came to be called variolation. Inoculating people with an attenuated (hopefully) version of smallpox to cause a mild but immunity-producing spell of the disease was practiced by the Ottomans but remained rare in England until Lady Mary, using her own children, popularized the practice during an epidemic. This graphic novel is illustrated with engaging panels of artwork that broaden its appeal, effectively conveying aspects of the story that extend the enthralling narrative. Taking care to credit innovations in immunology outside of European borders, Brown moves through centuries of thoughtful scientific inquiry and experimentation to thoroughly explain the history of vaccines and their limitless value to the world but also delves into the discouraging story of the anti-vaccination movement. Concluding with information about the Covid-19 pandemic, the narrative easily makes the case that a vaccine for this disease fits quite naturally into eons of scientific progress. Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines.

Essential. (timeline, biographical notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 30, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5001-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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