"BATS, BUGS, AND BIODIVERSITY: Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest" by Susan E. Goodman

"BATS, BUGS, AND BIODIVERSITY: Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest"

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Michigan meets the Amazon in this photo essay about 74 7th and 8th graders who spent a week in a Peruvian rain forest. Goodman discusses plants and animals in various layers of the rain forest, how scientists study the biome, why it's important, and how Amazonian Indians live; her enthusiasm leads to forgivable lapses of preachiness. The book successfully shares the daily activities of the students who attended survival camp and explored the rain forest. Their comments and quotes from their journals, peppering the narrative, range from the didactic (""I used to think, So what if trees are being cut down on the other side of the world, it doesn't affect me. Now I know that it does affect me and we can't sit back"") to the refreshingly kidlike (""I counted my [bug] bites and I ended up with 103 on my whole body and fifty-five on my left leg alone. Pretty gross."" An energetic layout is occasionally confusing; quotations and photo captions sometimes are given similar type treatment, implying that the speaker/writer is the one pictured, without stating it outright. The full-color photos have the immediacy of snapshots, catching the children eating, cooking, dancing, and exploring--this must be the ultimate camping trip.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1995
Page count: 46pp
Publisher: Atheneum