It’s Monday and here’s What I’m Reading: October 14th., 2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts

I read two wonderful non fiction books this week, both of which will be great additions to our classroom library.  The first was Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure.  I had no idea that Admiral Byrd had a faithful companion on his adventures in the North Pole – a “scrappy little fox terrier rescued from the streets of Washington D.C.”  

Here they are, and this photograph pretty much sums up their relationship – they were inseparable.
Byrd & Igloo is told through Igloo’s perspective, which would make it doubly interesting for my sixth graders.  There were encounters with fierce Siberian Huskies and majestic Emperor Penguins, and many a terrifying face-off with brutally cold temperatures.  Igloo became the erstwhile mascot who accompanied the expeditions and endured the dangers, and was much beloved by all who knew him. Through Igloo, the reader learns of  the way the expeditions were planned and carried out, and what it was like to be out in the desolate Antarctic for months at a time.  And Igloo was there with Byrd when he retired from his days of exploration and went on the lecture circuit – even if it meant hiding under the lectern.  Byrd & Igloo is  entertaining narrative nonfiction, just the sort of text my students need to read more of  to pique their interest in nonfiction reading.
Sy Montgomery’s The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal, is the latest in the Scientists in the Field series.  I happen to love this series, and have collected many of their titles for our nonfiction unit of study-they are so well researched, written, and illustrated.  Here’s what the jacket copy had to say:
If you’ve never seen a lowland tapir, you’re not alone.  Most of the people who live near its home in Brazil – the world’s largest freshwater wetland, known as Pantanal – have never seen one either.  As one nature’s  shyest loners, the tapir is hard to find, which makes it hard to save – and the tapir is rapidly disappearing.
While many of us my never see a tapir in the wild, we would miss them if they disappeared  for if tapirs vanish, the forests they help to germinate will suffer.  But not if the field scientist Pati Medici has anything to say about it.
We follow Medici and her team into the field, and learn as much about the science of saving endangered creatures as we do about the tapir itself.

And here is an interesting interview with the team:


7 thoughts on “It’s Monday and here’s What I’m Reading: October 14th., 2011

  1. Fun to see both, Tara. I had no idea that the tapir was endangered, & now want to know why. Is it hunted, or because the habitat is being reduced, or? Interesting to see, plus the book about Byrd & his dog. How in the world with Byrd so dressed does a little short-coated dog survive that harsh environment? Amazing-will look for this one! Thank you!

  2. These both look like great books, Tara. I didn't know Byrd took his dog on his polar adventures, either. It's hard to imagine how a dog could survive those conditions. Thanks for mentioning the Scientist in the Field series, too. I'm not familiar with them, but will suggest them to our science teachers.

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