Mary Kay Carson’s new book The Bat Scientists with photographs by her husband, Tom Uhlman, is a stand out in the wonderful Scientists in the Field series. Even if you are only mildly interested in bats or find bats off putting, this is a fascinating book.
Carson follows bat scientist Merlin Tuttle into a cave in Texas to find out what studying bats in like. Immediately we learn that this field is not for the squeamish. Wading through bat guano teeming with insects, while breathing through a respirator in a smelly cave at temperatures of 100° F isn’t for everyone. Thank goodness that Dr. Tuttle and his colleagues (and Mary Carson) are willing to do it, because it turns out that bats are pretty important in the scheme of things. By learning more about them, hopefully we can protect these fragile and misunderstood little creatures before it is too late. Carson discusses some of the disturbing recent threats to bats at the end of the book.
Our family became intrigued by bats years ago through two great fiction picture books: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and wonderful The Bat in the Boot by Annie Cannon. This great nonfiction middle grade book is keeping that curiosity alive and well, as we learn the current bat facts and research techniques. As my son says,”The Bat Scientists is a really good book!”
This book was nominated for a Cybils in middle grade nonfiction.
For more information and reviews, see Mary Carson’s The Bat Scientists page.
For bat science activities, see Growing With Science.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (September 6, 2010)
Related Nonfiction Reader:
Fiction Picture Books About Bats:
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
The Bat in the Boot by Annie Cannon
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Books Together.