Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

( 3 )

Overview

B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.

He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the ...

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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

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Overview

B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.

He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon—and halfway back! 

B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away.  Late in the summer, he begins the return journey.

B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his migratory circuit—changes caused mostly by human activity—have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. And so, since 1995, when B95 was first captured and banded, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Most perish somewhere along the great hemispheric circuit, but the Moonbird wings on. He has been seen as recently as November 2011, which makes him nearly twenty years old. Shaking their heads, scientists ask themselves: How can this one bird make it year after year when so many others fall? 

National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose takes us around the hemisphere with the world’s most celebrated shorebird, showing the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offering insights about what we can do to help shorebirds before it’s too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird. 
Moonbird is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.

A 2013 Sibert Honor Book
A 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Abby McGanney Nolan
With an effective mix of facts and conjecture, Hoose conveys B95's wide experience, from the challenges of his first month in Arctic Canada 20 years ago to the physical demands of flying for three days straight. Hoose's vivid prose and the book's close-up photos give a sense of other red-knot talents, like fattening up for a long flight and sleeping while staying alert for predators.
Publishers Weekly
National Book Award–winner Hoose (Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice) introduces readers to the small rufa red knot shorebird known as B95, which makes an 18,000-mile migratory circuit from the bottom of the world to the top and back again each year. “Something about this bird was exceptional; he seemed to possess some extraordinary combination of physical toughness, navigational skill, judgment, and luck,” writes Hoose. Eight chapters offer an extraordinarily detailed look at everything red knot, from a description of its migratory paths and the food found at each stopover to the physiology of its bill and factors that threaten the species with extinction. Profiles of bird scientists or activists conclude most chapters. The information-packed narrative jumps between past and present as it follows a postulated migration of B95, accompanied by numerous sidebars, diagrams, maps, and full-color photographs. Readers will appreciate Hoose’s thorough approach in contextualizing this amazing, itinerant creature that was last spotted in 2011. Those motivated to action will find an appendix of ways to get involved. An index, extensive source notes, and bibliography are included. Ages 10–up. (July)
From the Publisher

"[A] deeply researched, engaging account…”--School Library Journal, starred

"Putting an actual beaked face to the problem of animal endangerment makes the story of the species’ peril all the more compelling, and only the truly hard of heart could resist cheering for B95 to make it through one more trip.”--BCCB, Starred

"With an effective mix of facts and conjecture, Hoose conveys B95’s wide experience, from the challenges of his first month in Arctic Canada 20 years ago to the physical demands of flying for three days straight. Hoose’s vivid prose and the book’s close-up photos give a sense of other red-knot talents, like fattening up for a long flight and sleeping while staying alert for predators. And there’s recent good news: B95 was photographed in late May, feasting on horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay. "--The Washington Post

"Hoose’s fascinating account concerns much more than this one bird.”--Horn Book, starred

"...beautiful and vivid…”--VOYA

"Hoose's stature as a preeminent nonfiction author combined with the high-interest animal hook will generate hearty attention and enthusiasm for this one.”--Booklist, starred
 
"Readers will appreciate Hoose’s thorough approach in contextualizing this amazing, itinerant creature…”--Publishers Weekly, starred
 
"Meticulously researched and told with inspiring prose and stirring images, this is a gripping, triumphant story of science and survival. “--Kirkus, starred

From The Critics

"[A] deeply researched, engaging account…”—School Library Journal, starred

"Putting an actual beaked face to the problem of animal endangerment makes the story of the species’ peril all the more compelling, and only the truly hard of heart could resist cheering for B95 to make it through one more trip.”—BCCB, Starred

"With an effective mix of facts and conjecture, Hoose conveys B95’s wide experience, from the challenges of his first month in Arctic Canada 20 years ago to the physical demands of flying for three days straight. Hoose’s vivid prose and the book’s close-up photos give a sense of other red-knot talents, like fattening up for a long flight and sleeping while staying alert for predators. And there’s recent good news: B95 was photographed in late May, feasting on horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay. "—The Washington Post

"Hoose’s fascinating account concerns much more than this one bird.”—Horn Book, starred

"...beautiful and vivid…”—VOYA

"Hoose's stature as a preeminent nonfiction author combined with the high-interest animal hook will generate hearty attention and enthusiasm for this one.”—Booklist, starred

 

"Readers will appreciate Hoose’s thorough approach in contextualizing this amazing, itinerant creature…”—Publishers Weekly, starred

 

"Meticulously researched and told with inspiring prose and stirring images, this is a gripping, triumphant story of science and survival. “—Kirkus, starred

VOYA - Dawn Talbott
The rufa, one of six species of red knots, is a tiny shore bird that makes a great trek between Patagonia at the bottom of South America to the Arctic every year on its migratory path. Even though this "superbird" accomplishes this amazing task, covering approximately 18,000 miles each year, its population is struggling. The numbers of the rufa red knot have been drastically declining. More than 80% of the population has disappeared in recent years. Hoose researched the species and spent time with scientists who have studied these red knots, particularly one hardy specimen numbered B95, and shares their plight in Moonbird: A Year On The Wind With The Great Survivor B95. Hoose's writing is beautiful and vivid, which is hard to come by in many nonfiction selections. Not only are the descriptions well written, but Hoose also tells the story of B95 in a personified way, following the awe-inspiring migration path, called the Great Circuit, that it makes each year. This makes readers root for the little bird and raises awareness of the difficulty that the entire subspecies is having. The final chapter and appendix include information about what readers can do to take action to support the red knots and help prevent extinction. Maps and photographs are plentiful, adding to the enjoyment. Boxes of additional information are found throughout, as well as profiles of the scientists that study these shore birds. Overall, Moonbird is a great nonfiction selection for those interested in shorebirds or ecology. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
This is the story of a moonbird—an athletic red knot (that is a type of bird) that has flown 325,000 miles in his recorded life. That four-ounce bird has gone the distance to the moon and half way back. Red Knot B95 is an athlete, but what makes this story worth the time is not the bird itself, but the passion that people bring to it. This is the story of the scientists (and a writer) who become enamored with the red knots, study them, and try to preserve their habitat. The more Hoose explores his topic—explaining the physiology of a bird that allows it to fly so well, the places they land, and the teams that come out to meet the red knots—the more we learn about the scientists who want to know how this bird functions. The adventure comes close to reading like a novel, as the reader is drawn into the question of whether B95 will survive another migration. Hoose interrupts his story with profiles of interesting scientists in sidebars. The photos and maps are abundant and well explained. This book should appeal to nonfiction readers and adventure readers alike. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
Library Journal
Before devouring Phillip Hoose’s The Race To Save the Lord God Bird in 2004, this reader had no idea how compelling a book about a bird could be. In Race To Save, the author described the tragedy of a species’ extinction. In this year’s Moonbird, Hoose again tells a riveting story of avian survival, this time through the lens of a single bird, tagged B95, who has flown enough miles in its 20 year lifetime to have gone to the moon, and halfway back. B95 is a rufa, a shorebird, who migrates from South America to the Canadian Arctic. His survival is all the more amazing because during his lifetime, his species’ numbers have been reduced by 80 percent owing to human activity. A beautiful and engaging story of a bird that is so much more than meets the eye.

(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Moonbird is a nickname scientists have given to a small Eastern shorebird known for both his unusually long life and his enormously long annual migration. Hoose intertwines the story of this bird's remarkable survival with detailed accounts of the rufa red knot's physical changes through its yearlong cycle of migrating from the bottom of the world (usually Tierra del Fuego) to its Arctic breeding grounds and back again at summer's end-a round trip of some 18,000 miles. Moonbird, known usually by the identifying label "B95" on his orange leg band, was first banded in 1995, when it was thought that he was at least three years old, and Hoose notes sightings of him through early 2011 just as the book was reaching completion. At that point it was estimated that over 20 years' time, B95 had flown "more than 325,000 miles in his life-the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back." The feat is particularly celebrated among bird scientists because this species is rapidly declining as humans use and misuse its feeding grounds and food supply. The threatened state of the species and the personal work being done by scientists and conservationists are strong themes throughout the book. Hoose describes his own experiences participating in study trips and introduces children and teens engaged in study, conservation, and lobbying projects in Canada, the United States, and Argentina. This deeply researched, engaging account is a substantial and well-designed package of information illustrated with handsome color photographs, ample maps, appended descriptions of the conservation work, and thorough source notes.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
As he did in The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (2004), Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through a single bird species, but there is hope for survival in this story, and that hope is pinned on understanding the remarkable longevity of a single bird. B95 is a 4-ounce, robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego and heads for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, 9,000 miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey. Scientists call him Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime of nearly 20 years, he has flown the distance to the moon and halfway back. B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping but eventually must land to refuel and rest. Recent changes, however, at refueling stations along his migratory circuit, most caused by human activity, have reduced the available food. Since 1995, when B95 was captured and banded, the rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Scientists want to know why this one bird survives year after year when so many others do not. In a compelling, vividly detailed narrative, Hoose takes readers around the hemisphere, showing them the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a global team of scientists and conservationists, and offering insights about what can be done to save them before it's too late. Meticulously researched and told with inspiring prose and stirring images, this is a gripping, triumphant story of science and survival. (photographs, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374304683
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 137,594
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1150L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of the National Book Award winner Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, which is also a Newbery Honor Book, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, a YALSA Finalist for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among other honors. His other books include The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award Finalist. Mr. Hoose lives in Portland, Maine.

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Reading Group Guide

B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day  he  will  once  again  cast  himself  into  the  air,  spiral  upward  into  the clouds, and bank into the wind. He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon—and halfway back! B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies  rufa.  He can fly for days without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his  migratory circuit—caused mostly by human activity—have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. Since 1995, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Most perish somewhere along the great hemispheric circuit, but the Moonbird wings on. He has been seen as recently as November 2011, which makes him nearly twenty years old. Shaking their heads, scientists ask themselves: How can this one bird make it year after
year when so many others fall? 

National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose takes us around the hemisphere with the world’s
most celebrated shorebird, showing the obstacles  rufa red knots face, introducing a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offering insights about what we can do to help shorebirds before it’s too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird.

This guide was created in alignment with the Common Core State Standards. Questions and activities develop skills outlined in Reading Standards for Informational Text and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Writing, and Speaking and Listening. In an effort to support educators, reference is made to specific anchor standards where appropriate.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Good Introduction for Children and Teens to Bird Conservation

    Since this is an audio recording of a published children's book I feel like it's age appropriate by default. The author, Phillip Hoose, gives a word-for-word reading and starts off by talking about B95 in the present tense and his awe-inspiring migration. To put things into perspective, he takes the time to explain about the Red Knot bird species as a whole and its current plight. He also delves back in time to speculate on B95's early years based on current knowledge of Red Knots and their known habitats and migration paths. Despite B95's renown, he is described as hard to capture for research and scientific purposes, although he has faithfully returned to the same locations or nearby places along his known migration route. The story focuses on this elusiveness. What makes this story more compelling is that Hoose participated in shorebird banding and is personally invested in B95's story. Other highlights include interviews of people involved in conservation efforts and who have personally heard of B95's story. Chapter 9--the appendix--is especially helpful for children who feel compelled to help shorebirds, including Red Knots, in any way they can. The only real issue I had was the lack of pictures/CD covers to go with the chapters since I added this to my music player. Overall, I would recommend this book to families with children or, specifically, parents looking for a way to help instill an environmental ethic and stewardship values in their children. The length of the book is good in terms of details and overall content.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Tfrcrctvbyh

    Ggtgtgtgt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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