Alien Invaders: Species That Threaten Our World

Overview

From killer toads, feral felines, and brown tree snakes to multiple invaders in Lake Victoria and the Great Lakes, Alien Invaders focuses on wave after wave of invaders that affect our ecosystems and the side-effects of climate change and modern global travel on our world today. Environmentalists and coauthors Jane Drake and Ann Love present the concepts of endangered species and biodiversity in this informative look at alien invaders and how they impact our world. From the days of sailing ships and shipboard ...

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Overview

From killer toads, feral felines, and brown tree snakes to multiple invaders in Lake Victoria and the Great Lakes, Alien Invaders focuses on wave after wave of invaders that affect our ecosystems and the side-effects of climate change and modern global travel on our world today. Environmentalists and coauthors Jane Drake and Ann Love present the concepts of endangered species and biodiversity in this informative look at alien invaders and how they impact our world. From the days of sailing ships and shipboard rats to the fungus that sparked the Irish potato famine to the beautiful but deadly purple loosestrife strangling native wetlands, they examine extinctions and endangerments directly attributable to these alien invaders. Learn where the invaders originated, how they traveled, where they settled, what they displaced, why the invaded natural system was vulnerable, and what can be done. Kids can determine if they themselves are invaders or savers and how they can help.

This exploration of a timely topic, coupled with the lively detailed illustrations of Toronto artist Mark Thurman, inspire kids and adults alike to be more observant and protective of our natural world.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 14.

Millions cross oceans. Thousands hitchhike. Untold numbers curl up in airplane landing gear. Some even swagger across borders, their passage provided by unknowing, careless humans. The title may create expectations of Martians or UFOs, but the millions referred to actually include rats, toads, and snakes. Nevertheless, this book offers plenty of excitement. As the authors explain, in this case alien means from another region, and invader is someone or something that is taking over. Two dozen alien invaders are targeted, each categorized by size, homeland, area invaded, and line of attack (how and where the invaders originated). Most of the invaders are creatures, but several are nefarious weeds or plants, and one is even potato blight! The book also discusses how the reader can join the crusade against invaders. For example, do not invite a rat for dinner by tossing food on the ground. The dramatic text, intriguing subject matter, and first class illustrations combine to make this nonfiction a great read even for those who ordinarily prefer fiction. One caveat, though: the final invader section, "Get Ready for the Pandemic" (avian flu), could be too real a threat for easily frightened children and should therefore be approached with caution. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6- The authors introduce three classic examples of alien invaders: brown rats, cane toads in Australia, and the fungus that caused the potato blight in the U.S. and Ireland. Ten more species are introduced with a narrative that describes the invader, its life cycle, the damage it causes, and attempts to control it. A short list of facts gives the common and Latin name, the size (metric and English), homeland, invaded countries, and the method of entry. Additional chapters describe some vulnerable habitats such as Lake Victoria, the Great Lakes, Hawaii, the Eastern hardwood forests, and the Western rangelands. The chapter "Get Ready for the Pandemic" explains why the avian flu virus (H5N1) has the potential to be catastrophic. The concluding chapters give further perspective on the impact of these species and what people are doing and can do to control them. The background on each double-page chapter is a full-bleed color painting that includes an illustration of the invader. A world map shows the origins and destinations of a few of the threatening species. Other than a confusing chapter on "The Role of the Community Elder," the material is accessible and will be useful for young researchers.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI

From the Publisher
Praise for Sweet! The Delicious Story of Candy:
“This history of things sweet and sugary is a yummy feast. The prose is chatty and inviting. There are great explanations of such matters as the history of honey production and the chemistry of sugar. Sweet! is one tasty treat.” — School Library Journal

“… reading [this] book is a little like dipping into a grab bag from the candy store: the experience is fun, varied, and relatively cheap, considering the pleasure it gives.” — Quill & Quire starred review

Praise for Trash Action: A Fresh Look at Garbage:
“One of the very best things about this very good book is that it doesn’t preach; it will encourage and empower readers of all ages.…” — The Globe and Mail

“If you have a young eco-warrior living in your house — or you want to help create one — this is the book.” — Today’s Parent, Toronto

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770495128
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 1,433,627
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Drake and Ann Love are sisters and coauthors who have shared a life-long interest in the environment and the wild: “As kids, our parents led our family vacations into wild places — we spent more time looking for shorebirds in sewage lagoons than most Canadians would ever admit to.” Their writing for children has always had a natural history/environmental-action focus. They are interested in making children more observant of the natural world. Together they are the authors of many award-winning books, including their most recent, Cool Woods: A Trip Around the World’s Boreal Forest, Snow Amazing: Cool Facts and Warm Tales, Trash Action: A Fresh Look at Garbage, and Sweet! The Delicious Story of Candy. They have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Nonfiction, the Hackmatack Award, and the Silver Birch Award. Ann Love is one of the founding members of Pollution Probe. Both are married, have three children, and live in the Toronto area.

Mark Thurman is an artist, illustrator, author, and teacher who enjoys writing and illustrating picture books and conducting workshops for students and teachers. He has over thirty books to his credit. He was cocreator of the “Mighty Mites,” a scientific cartoon in Owl magazine. Mark Thurman lives and works in Toronto.

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