From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world.



Tracing the line between wildlife and the law, the acclaimed science writer examines how humans interact with the natural world.

“What is the proper course when wild animals break laws intended for people?” So asks Roach in a book that, in the author’s characteristic style, ranges widely, from wild animal attacks to the inherent dangers of certain plants to ways in which we have treated animals that most humans consider vermin. The author begins by examining “the intractable nature of human-wildlife conflict—as it is known today by those who grapple with it professionally.” Roach discusses well-known conflicts such as bear attacks before moving on to an account of her visit to a tea plantation in West Bengal, India, “a place where ‘the elephant in the room’ is not a metaphor.” As in her previous bestsellers such as Grunt and Stiff, the author has clearly done her homework, speaking to professionals across a variety of disciplines, including members of the military; nuns, priests, guards, and other workers at the Vatican; and those with job titles that sound “like something you’d hear if you asked an animal-besotted ten-year-old, What do you want to be when you grow up?” (The lucky fellow in question, who has a doctorate in wildlife biology, researches mountain lions and gray wolves, two apex predators.) Traveling from a bear seminar in Reno to a bird-infested island in the Pacific that plagued the American military during World War II, among many other venues, Roach joyfully explores how human culture and wildlife, including plant life, have either found ways to coexist or are constantly at odds. Throughout, Roach highlights people who are genuinely passionate about the work, and she also includes suggestions for readers on how to deal ethically (and effectively) with their own wildlife issues, wherever they live.

From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-324-00193-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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The Johnstown Flood was one of the greatest natural disasters of all time (actually manmade, since it was precipitated by a wealthy country club dam which had long been the source of justified misgivings). This then is a routine rundown of the catastrophe of May 31st, 1889, the biggest news story since Lincoln's murder in which thousands died. The most interesting incidental: a baby floated unharmed in its cradle for eighty miles.... Perhaps of local interest-but it lacks the Lord-ly touch.

Pub Date: March 18, 1968

ISBN: 0671207148

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1968

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A straightforward, carefully detailed presentation of how ``fruit comes from flowers,'' from winter's snow-covered buds through pollination and growth to ripening and harvest. Like the text, the illustrations are admirably clear and attractive, including the larger-than-life depiction of the parts of the flower at different stages. An excellent contribution to the solidly useful ``Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science'' series. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-020055-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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