The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats, by Sandra Markle (2014)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: 8-11
Case of the Vanishing Little Brown BatsSubtitled “A Scientific Mystery,” this latest addition to Sandra Markle’s “Case of Vanishing” animals series offers budding young scientists a chance to see the scientific method in action as they learn about a mysterious fungus that is wiping out colonies of little brown bats in eastern North America, and moving west. Markle uses clear language and helpful illustrations to explain why bats are key to our ecosystem, and then guides young readers through scientists’ efforts to identify the cause of the deaths of thousands of bats in east coast caves. Develop a hypothesis, test it, revise the hypothesis and repeat until the mystery is solved. Framing it as a mystery to be solved gives it great kid appeal, but Markle’s writing is compelling and accessible as well, sure to generate lots of interest in these fascinating little mammals and the work of scientists in general. Markle includes excellent supplemental material, including a most helpful glossary and a list of resources for further exploration of the topic. I was initially pleased to see a rudimentary index, but found it wanting – including an entry for “little brown bat” is silly and quite useless. My thanks to NetGalley for an advance e-copy.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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