Friday, October 16, 2009
Science Warriors: The Battle Against Invasive Species by Sneed B. Collard III
Can you imagine a place with 13,000 snakes per square mile? That's the reality on the island of Guam. The brown tree snake didn't used to be found there, but it moved in and has taken over the environment and scientists can't get rid of them now. And instead of trying to remove the snake from Guam, they just try to keep those snakes off of boats that go to islands like Hawaii so the snakes won't take over new islands. That's one of the invasive species covered in this book. The author also covers fire ants in Texas, melaleuca plants in Florida, and the zebra mussels in midwestern waters. (Minnesota is doing a great job keeping the zebra mussel out, and that is mentioned here.) This book goes in-depth on each of these invaders, but to keep kids' attention I think perhaps the book should have featured a few more invasive species examples in more general terms. It's a fascinating topic, but I'm not sure how many middle schoolers will stick with this text. But, as always, the Scientists in the Field series has excellent photos and information for kids who want to dig in to some fascinating nonfiction topics.