CHATTANOOGA SLUDGE by Molly Bang

CHATTANOOGA SLUDGE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bang (One Fall Day, 1994, etc.) salutes one man's efforts to clean up "the most polluted waterway in the southeastern United States." Filling seven pages before the title page is an overview of the forces of nature that created the Chattanooga Creek and the forces of manufacturing that rendered it toxic, with 33 varieties of pollutants. Enter John Todd and his Living Machine: a bioassay tank (a healthy test environment) and another tank of specially selected bacteria (from marsh mud, rotting railroad ties, etc.) intended to gobble and make harmless the creek's nasty sludge. As the book ends, Todd is still at work, with preliminary results that point the way to success. A scientific experiment has never been so driven by suspense. Bang creates an intriguing, appealing, vulnerable character in Todd and an equally effective presence in the Chattanooga Creek, then splices into the story information on geology, ecology, bacteriology, and biology, in a successful effort to explicate the complex workings of nature. The facts are superbly captured in exquisite collages that turn the subject of sludge into an airy ode to green, clean living. It all adds up to a favorable omen for the future of the Chattanooga. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)
Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-216345-X
Page count: 48pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996




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