|Beetle battles : one scientist's journey of adventure and discovery|
Author: Emlen, Douglas John
Join scientist Doug Emlen as he navigates the South American terrain searching for an elusive type of beetle.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 8.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 507935
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/19)
School Library Journal (01/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2019 Biologist Emlen’s study of dung beetles has gone in some truly surprising directions, related here in his first book for young readers. He begins with his initial student research into why some beetles grow very large horns (i.e., weapons) while others do not. His search for the perfect beetle to study took him to South America and then to Panama, where he hunkered down with impressively “armed” tunneling dung beetles. Emlen capably integrates his personal journey (often frustrated, smelly, and sweaty) and lines of inquiry with foundational scientific concepts. His unexpected breakthrough came in connecting his beetles to military theory pertaining to arms races and duels. The book clearly shows the parallels between humans waging battle and developing weapons and behaviors and adaptations within the animal kingdom. Occasionally, the writing is repetitive, but it is always personable and infused with Emlen’s passion for his subject. Illustrations include photos taken by the author and closeup views of armored beetles, ready for action. A unique offering with cross-disciplinary potential. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 6–8—Emlen, the author of the award-winning book Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, has adapted the same topic for a children's audience. He initially shares his search for an evolutionary reason for animal weaponry (horns, claws, and tusks) while researching dung beetles in Panama. His daily research routines are interesting; it's fun to vicariously experience his discoveries. The middle of the book derails a bit as Emlen searches for his next discovery. That discovery, the correlation between animal weaponry and military weaponry, brings new excitement to the narrative. The final chapter correlates the evolutionary demise of weapons in nature to the evolutionary demise of military weapons when new technologies emerge, currently reflected in military cyberhacking. The narrative flows well. Color photos highlight the text and provide a visual reference for the animals and the environments encountered while reading. VERDICT This well-written book may not appeal to all, but it is worth considering for bug lovers, military weapon enthusiasts, and those studying evolution.—Katherine Rao, Palos Verdes Library District, CA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.