Sure to hatch activism in budding environmentalists.

Ornithologist Kress and his team restore puffins to Maine’s Eastern Egg Rock.

When Kress became a birdlife instructor at Maine’s Hog Island Audubon Camp in 1969, the seabird biologist discovered that puffins once nested on nearby Eastern Egg Rock. Overhunting of their feathers for hats in the 1800s led to their disappearance. Realizing that humans had a responsibility to save these colorfully beaked birds, Kress developed a plan. Kress and journalist co-author Jackson chronicle what came to be known as Project Puffin. Starting with six puffin chicks from Newfoundland, Canada, in 1973, Kress and his team spent years figuring out ways to make Eastern Egg Rock a viable nesting location. Rather than bog readers down in minutiae, the conversational narrative enhanced by archival photos blends the right amount of logistical details with accounts of harrowing setbacks, constant trial and error, and eventual success. And rather than end there, the authors include a look at climate change and its negative impact on the puffins’ still-fragile ecosystem. They offer readers hope, however, with examples of successful seabird restoration projects around the world, from the rescue of the Short-tailed Albatross on Japan’s Torishima Island to the African Penguin Relocation Project in South Africa. While calling on young people to help, the authors also don’t skirt such controversial topics as gull control (i.e., killing gulls to save puffins).

Sure to hatch activism in budding environmentalists. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-943431-57-1

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Tumblehome Learning

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020


From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012



Readers will find answers to basic questions about Muslims, yet they might not understand the bigger picture if they don’t...

Ali-Karamali offers plenty of anecdotes about growing up Muslim in America in a conversational tone that is undermined by poor organization.

The work explores a range of questions that non-Muslims might have about followers of Islam. Ranging from a discussion of Muslim holidays or the kinds of clothes worn by Muslims to the development of Islam, the author explains these topics in a friendly, engaging manner. She provides several examples of Muslim practices around the world, going beyond her American experiences to reflect Islam’s diversity. Chapters are organized into three fact-filled sections on beliefs and practices, the development of Islam and current Muslim demographics. Unfortunately, beginning with the practical questions about food, fasting and fashion delays important concepts such as how jihad is not equivalent to terrorism and whether Islam mandates women wear face veils (in a word, no). Compounding this basic conceptual flaw, this organizational choice necessitates clunky references to later chapters. Moreover, it is not until Chapter 4 that cited figures or quotes are provided references, an example of sloppy scholarship.

Readers will find answers to basic questions about Muslims, yet they might not understand the bigger picture if they don’t hang in until the end. (notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74095-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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