Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Florida Everglades: reading that's wet and wild

Florida's Everglades National Park, described as "a vast wetland wilderness unlike any other in the world" on the National Park Service website, was dedicated and opened on December 6, 1947. Find these books on the BookBag search boxes, and take your own trip to the Everglades!

Scat, by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf) Eco-Thriller. Nick Waters and his friend Marta are terrified of their biology teacher, Mrs. Starch, the most demanding and feared teacher at the Truman School. The only kid who doesn't seem to be scared of her is underachieving pyromaniac Duane Scrod, Jr., a.k.a. "Smoke." But after a class field trip to the Everglades gets cut short by a freak wildfire, Mrs. Starch goes missing! Nick and Marta don't buy the official "family emergency" explanation and decide to investigate on their own. This exciting and funny story features a big cast of quirky characters, an endangered swamp and an endangered species, mystery, peril, heroics, and possibly the worst substitute teacher ever.

The Talking Earth, by Jean Craighead George (Harper & Row) Fiction. Seminole teenager Billie Wind doesn't believe that her people's legends--about talking animals and a "great serpent" who lives in the Everglades--are true. As punishment for being a doubter, Billie undertakes a solo journey into the Everglades, where she must stay until she hears the voices of the land and animals for herself...which she never expects to happen. Part survival adventure and part coming-of-age story, The Talking Earth vividly describes both the Everglades and Billie's emotional journey.

Science Warriors: The Battle Against Invasive Species, by Sneed B. Collard (Houghton Mifflin) Nonfiction. Scientists estimate that there are 7,000 invasive species -- plants and animals that are not native to an area and harm its ecosystems--in the United States. This book profiles scientists who are battling fire ants in the southern states, Melaleuca trees in the Everglades, brown tree snakes in Guam, and zebra mussels in Minnesota, showing them at work in the lab and in the field. Large, clear photos show what happens when these destructive flora and fauna invade (we'll warn you, it isn't pretty), and lucid text explains efforts to combat their spread--including what you can do.

Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland, by Trish Marx; photographs by Cindy Karp (Lee & Low Books) Nonfiction. The story and pictures in this book follow a fifth-grade class from Homestead, Florida as they explore and study Everglades National Park. Home to a unique ecosystem, the Everglades have been endangered by pollution and development, and Ms. Stone's fifth-graders (and readers!) also learn about ongoing efforts to restore and protect the fragile wetlands. With lots of great photos of and information about the wildlife and waterways of the Everglades, this book will fascinate and educate environmentally- minded kids and teens.

No comments:

Post a Comment