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Children's LiteratureAs part of the "Ecosystems" series, this book gives a close look at the Arctic Circle. Known as the "Top of the World" and "Land of the Midnight Sun," this barren and icy land is a host to fascinating wildlife and unbelievably resilient plant life. Nine countries share parts of this wilderness where temperatures range from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The book details the survival tactics of bears, whales, seals, caribou, reindeer, and birds. It also details the plant life and how it maintains itself to provide a home and shelter for many insects and animals. Readers will become fascinated by the description of the aurora borealis. These explosions off the surface of the sun that hurtle through space and collide with the earth's atmosphere appear as colored lights in the sky more than fifty percent of the year. Although this unique ecosystem is thriving, it has faced and continues to face a number of threats to its existence. Readers will learn about the catastrophic oil spill of the Exxon Valdez and how pollution from power plants, factories, and ships pose as great future concern. Photographs accompany almost every page and glossary, index, and resource sections are included. This is a suitable resource for strong readers and avid environmentalists. 2004, KidHaven Press, Ages 9 to 14.
—Andrea Sears Andrews