An animal conservation tale with a happy ending (3,200 estimated in the wild today) and a must-read for monkey lovers.

THE GREAT MONKEY RESCUE

SAVING THE GOLDEN LION TAMARINS

Markle chronicles the amazing efforts to save a tiny (and adorable) species.

In 1960 there were only an estimated 200 golden lion tamarins in the wild. Their habitat along the coast of Brazil was being destroyed by logging. In 1975 there were about 122 in captivity, but they weren’t breeding; when they did, the young died. After laying out this grim reality, the economical text goes on to describe how zoologist Devra Kleiman discovered that golden lion tamarins had a different family structure than chimps and other primates. When the tamarins were housed appropriately, their populations in captivity skyrocketed, reaching 500 in the ’80s. Efforts then began to reintroduce them to the wild. Initial attempts failed, but mixing wild-born tamarins with zoo-born worked; then came the push to expand their available habitats. Markle does her usual excellent job presenting information in a page-turning narrative young zoologists will not be able to put down. Varied page layouts, vibrant photographs, and charming monkey mugs boost appeal. Contextual definitions of difficult or new concepts and fine backmatter, including further resources (both Web and print), a glossary, and a timeline, make this a must for nonfiction collections seeking more than just-the-facts series animal titles.

An animal conservation tale with a happy ending (3,200 estimated in the wild today) and a must-read for monkey lovers. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8030-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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Readers will need to strap on their helmets and prepare for a wild ride.

WILD RIVER

Disaster overtakes a group of sixth graders on a leadership-building white-water rafting trip.

Deep in the Montana wilderness, a dam breaks, and the resultant rush sweeps away both counselors, the rafts, and nearly all the supplies, leaving five disparate preteens stranded in the wilderness far from where they were expected to be. Narrator Daniel is a mild White kid who’s resourceful and good at keeping the peace but given to worrying over his mentally ill father. Deke, also White, is a determined bully, unwilling to work with and relentlessly taunting the others, especially Mia, a Latina, who is a natural leader with a plan. Tony, another White boy, is something of a friendly follower and, unfortunately, attaches himself to Deke while Imani, a reserved African American girl, initially keeps her distance. After the disaster, Deke steals the backpack with the remaining food and runs off with Tony, and the other three resolve to do whatever it takes to get it back, eventually having to confront the dangerous bully. The characters come from a variety of backgrounds but are fairly broadly drawn; still, their breathlessly perilous situation keeps the tale moving briskly forward, with one threatening situation after another believably confronting them. As he did with Wildfire (2019), Newbery Honoree Philbrick has crafted another action tale for young readers that’s impossible to put down.

Readers will need to strap on their helmets and prepare for a wild ride. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-64727-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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