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Summary: B95 is a rufa red knot; a migrating shorebird about the size of a robin. He wears an orange band that help scientists study the species’ migration pattern, as well as try to figure out why the species is dying. During the North American Winter, B95 lives in Rio Grande, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. In February, B95 and his mates get restless. It is time to make the flight North to the Arctic breeding grounds. The book is filled with images and maps, as well as biographies of key researchers studying the rufa red knot. This YA nonfiction book is part bird guide, part scientific paper, and incredibly beautiful.
Type of Reading: independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 12 and Up
Interest Level: 10 and Up
Reading Level: 7.9
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Love the concept and was eager to keep reading … until I got about halfway through. Although I liked the breakaways to read the biographies of the scientists, by the fourth chapter the material had gotten too tedious. I think it will appeal more to adults than kids.
Pros: Lots of photography and maps help readers understand the big journey of this tiny little bird.
Cons: Nothing specific.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is not nonfiction teens / young adults would read for fun. It has a textbook or research paper feel to it.
Educational Themes: This is nonfiction for teens with multiple layers. It is an exceptional illustration of how scientists set hypotheses,study a topic of interest [in this case the decline of the rufa red knot], and document their findings.
It is also an invaluable geography lesson, as well as a detailed study on the rufa subspecies. Given the level of detail and documentation, it would be an excellent resource for studying climate, physical, and sociological change on the migration route.