Gr 8 Up-This informative, well-written book provides excellent report material on a subject that is both interesting and complex. Patent clearly explains the process of genetic engineering and how it threatens the small farmer, the environment, thousands of life forms, and the world's food supply. She stresses the importance of natural diversity in order for species to survive year after year under varying conditions and discusses current efforts to preserve it, including seed banks, rare livestock ranches, and gardening organizations. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the text; a glossary is provided as well as an extensive bibliography and a list of related organizations.-Helen Rosenberg, Chicago Public Library, IL
This book, which is divided into four sections, makes diversity of both plant and animal species and the cultural and civic implications of genetics exciting. The account could well turn into eager readers those who approach science only dutifully for a report. Patent moves beyond the usually cited historical examples (such as the Irish potato famine) to contemporary problems of the l980s and 1990s, and her lively use of detail leads readers beyond whatever topic they first chose--corn will never seem dull again. Then, it's on to the trademarked Yucatan Micropig, a minature pig bred for use in medicine and as stock for small farms. Discussions of factory farming make vegetarianism seem an attractive option, but Patent is describing, not advocating. An excellent glossary, a bibliography of her sources, and lists of suggested reading further add to the book's strength.