Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, April 28, 2014

Park Scientists: gila monsters, geysers, and grizzly bears in American’s own backyard
Scientists in the Field series
Written by Mary Kay Carson; Photographs by Tom Uhlman
Houghton Mifflin. 2014
ISBN: 9780547792682
The publisher sent me a copy of this book to review
Grades 5 to 12

Take a road trip across American with husband and wife team, Carson and Uhlman to learn more about our national parks in this new entry in the Scientists in the Field series. Carson and Uhlman visit three major national parks: Yellowstone (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana), Saguaro (Arizona), and Great Smokey Mountains (Tennessee & North Carolina).

Our national parks, fifty-eight of them, have long been called “the country’s best idea.” They are important, because these treasured places have been protected so that future generations can explore them.

Parks are like natural laboratories. Scientists can collect data for years or decades without worrying about a highway going in or a meadow being plowed under.

There is much to discover in this tome. Here are just a few highlights. Wildlife biologist and bear scientist, Mark Haroldson studies grizzly bears in Yellowstone. Kevin Bonine, a herpetologist (a scientist who studies amphibians and reptiles) works in Saguaro studying the gila monster and evolutionary ecologist; Amy Luxbacher studies salamanders in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Readers will also learn about the opportunity to actively participate in the Citizen Scientists program available in some parks.

As with all books in this series, they are meticulously researched and have dozens of breathtaking color photographs that complement the text. Back matter for this book includes a map showing all our nation’s parks, a glossary of words to know, quote sources, selected bibliography, and index.

Hand this book to those who are traveling this summer or who loved the Mysteries in our National Parks series by Gloria Skurzynski.

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