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BLOODSUCKERS by Ron Knapp

BLOODSUCKERS

By Ron Knapp

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-89490-614-3
Publisher: Enslow

This entry in the Weird and Wacky Science series presents the many creatures that suck blood: mosquitoes, vampire bats, head lice, lampreys, fleas, and leeches. Knapp (Sports Great Bo Jackson, 1990, etc.) works hard to exploit the "yuck'' factor, with lurid prose and catchy headlines, e.g., "Patient and Deadly'' and "The Silent Slurping Attack.'' A boxed introduction sets the tone: "These animals are small, but that does not mean they aren't dangerous. Bloodsuckers tear into flesh with long sharp 'drills,' triple jaws, and even tongues covered with teeth.'' The word dangerous is frequently invoked: "For centuries the most dangerous animal in the world was the flea'' and "One of the world's smaller animals is one of the most dangerous'' (the mosquito). The full-color photos includes close-ups of leeches, bats drinking from a bowl of blood, and other "gross'' fare. For those who believe that science is sufficiently compelling on its own, the overall treatment of this material is rather sensationalized. (notes, glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)