Another compelling, hopeful account of ecosystem defense.




From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

On the African savanna, efforts to save the southern white rhino require varied approaches.

Continuing a longtime focus on animal conservation and rescue, science educator Markle turns her attention to the plight of the southern white rhino. This giant mammal, an important “ecosystem engineer,” was brought close to extinction in the mid-20th century by hunting and loss of habitat before being rediscovered, protected, and restored. Now it is threatened again, by poachers harvesting its horns for their rumored therapeutic powers. The author introduces her disturbing story with a suspenseful description of a poacher attack and concludes with the targeted rhino’s rescue and the species’ prospects for the future. In between, she covers protection efforts in South Africa that include: reserves and restrictions against hunting, relocation, market attempts to reduce horn value, helping survivors of horn removal, and the use of patrols and trained dogs. The clear and well-organized exposition weaves in plenty of information about the habits and habitats of this remarkable species and the nature of its coveted horn. Appealing design includes photos from a variety of sources, many showing rhino mothers and their calves and more than a few showing their human African protectors, both white and black. These images are captioned with clear explanations and additional information. Supportive backmatter includes a good list of books and websites about all kinds of rhinos appropriate for the intended readers.

Another compelling, hopeful account of ecosystem defense. (author’s note, timeline, source notes, glossary, find out more, index, photo acknowledgements) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4436-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.



Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...



The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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