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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.
Many species of animals that live in the United States have become endangered. Nine books in the "America's Animal Comebacks" series chronicle this problem and what has been done to keep these animals from becoming extinct. In many cases, the work of one naturalist has been pivotal to recognizing the problem and taking steps to reverse the trends. In the mid 1800s, alligators suffered a major blow. Designers in France discovered that they could use alligator skins to make bags and shoes. In less than 100 years, ten million alligators were killed. In addition to being hunted for their skin, they were feared as human predators and hunted for attacking livestock. By the mid 1900s, American alligators were on the brink of extinction. In 1970, the United States government made it illegal to buy and sell alligators. Now the sale of alligator skins and products is regulated. The future of alligators looks bright, but scientists will continue to study alligators in an effort to protect them. One way they do this is by collecting and hatching their eggs. When the baby alligators are a few weeks old, they are returned to their nests, where they are reunited with their mothers and swim away. The text is illustrated with numerous large photographs. An addendum contains a list of alligator facts, a glossary, a bibliography, and a list of web resources. Reviewer: Kristin Harris