Parasites: Latching on to a Free Lunch (LIBRARY EDITION)

Parasites: Latching on to a Free Lunch (LIBRARY EDITION)

by Paul Fleisher

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the "Discovery!" series, Fleisher takes us on an unusual journey into the lives of the very small creatures, many of whom may be on you or me. Explaining how the parasites move from one host to the next and what their effect on the host is could be macabre, but because of Fleisher's lively writing style, it is mostly interesting. Topics include parasitic fungi, plants, single-celled parasites, worms, and vertebrate parasites. He also addresses the history of parasitic studies, explaining how the well-known medical symbol of the serpent wound around a wooden staff is actually a treatment of a parasite. He also looks at research that show how some parasites control the movements of their hosts, driving fish to swim close to the surface where they are caught as lunch. The parasite then moves from the eaten fish to the bird where it lives out its life. While students may not read this book from start to end, they will enjoy picking and choosing among the types of parasites to become acquainted with: Would you like fungus today? Or a tapeworm? Each one has a story, a starting place, a way of moving around and a way of getting to a new host when the old host dies. It is a fascinating book even if you will feel itchy before you finish. Back matter includes a glossary, source notes, a selected bibliography, further reading and Web sites, and an index. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books/Lerner Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amy S. Hansen
VOYA - Kevin Beach
This title is part of an appealing new Discovery! series geared toward exciting students about the mysteries of science. Other books focus on forensics, the genome project, and meteorites. When one thinks of parasites, usually intestinal worms or head lice comes to mind. Parasites reminds readers that they are literally everywhere, come in many shapes and sizes, and can have extremely complex life cycles. Well-defined chapters cover the many varieties of the world's parasitic organisms from plants (strangler figs and fungi), single-celled creatures that cause diseases (not viruses and bacteria), the familiar worms (flukes with a life cycle that takes them through both cows' and snails' livers; pinworms; and tapeworms that can grow to thirty feet long), insects (fleas but not mosquitoes), to vertebrate parasites (nest-stealing cuckoo birds and fish-sucking lampreys). Although these books contain only basic information, they are well organized and quite up to date. The photos in both books are plentiful, colorful, and excellent. The texts are clear, concise, and interesting. Fleisher, a well-known writer of juvenile nonfiction works, ends his book on a positive note, highlighting advances in medicine (gene therapy in particular) and improved government assistance in combating human parasites and diseases.

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Discovery! Series
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
11 - 17 Years

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