Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bugged: how insects changed history by Sarah Albee

Bugged: how insects changed history
by Sarah Albee; Illustrations by Robert Leighton
Walker Books. 2014
ISBN: 9780802734235
I reviewed a copy sent from the publisher.
Perfect for grades 6 and up

Sarah Albee (Poop Happened: a history of the world from the bottom up) is back with another romp through history. This time, Albee explains how insects have changed history.

Insects have been around since the beginning of time. Over ten quintillion of them exist throughout the world. We try to control them or eliminate them, but they keep coming back. Sometimes stronger than ever! Using a humorous voice with a bit of an attitude, and incorporating fun and informational graphics, Bugged is not your everyday history book. It is a combination of world history, social history, natural science, epidemiology, public health, conservation, and microbiology. 

Readers will learn that there are good and bad insects. Some bugs, like honeybees and silkworms, are beneficial. While other bugs -- fleas and mosquitoes -- transmit diseases that killed a huge number of people through plagues and epidemics. In the U.S., between 1874 and 1876, locust darkened the skies from the Dakotas down to Texas. Crops were devoured in minutes, as was the wool right off the bodies of live sheep! Throughout human history, insects have contributed to some of the most interesting, deadly, and shocking episodes.

Bugged: how insects changed history is well researched. Back matter includes a glossary of terms, bibliography of print material for further reading and websites, source notes, and index.

In world history courses, add Bugged to the reading list. It will complement what students are studying, while injecting a bit of humor.

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