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Book JacketFood, Inc
by Peter Pringle
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 When it comes to genetic engineering, says the author of Those Are Real Bullets, both agribusiness and ecowarriors have got it all wrong. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 Journalist Pringle (Those Are Real Bullets) believes that there is nothing inherently unsafe about genetically modified (GM) foods and that technology has the potential to relieve hunger and pain for millions of people. However, in this discussion of the aspects of GM foods, he does not hesitate to point out the perils. Aside from potential crop and environmental contamination from lab-altered genes, especially troubling to the author is the degree to which plant biotechnology gives control to a few international conglomerates that own patents to the products and processes. Similar in coverage and style to Daniel Charles's Lords of the Harvest and Bill Lambrecht's Dinner at the New Gene Cafe, Pringle's work also relates very recent developments such as biopharming (growing pharmaceuticals in corn crops) and how several starving African countries refused donations of U.S. corn because it contained genetically modified seeds. This book is intended for a general audience and, as such, is well suited for public libraries and for undergraduate collections in academic libraries.-William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 Adult/High School-Biotechnology inspires hope in some and horror in others. A complex topic, it invokes many contemporary concerns-third world famine, biodiversity, corporate responsibility, the ethics of corporate ownership of the processes of life itself-and involves a bewildering array of interrelated national and international legal, political, scientific, and economic forces. Public discourse is polarized with scaremongering on one side and arrogance on the other, and it is difficult for the nonspecialist to arrive at an informed opinion. Here, in readable, journalistic fashion, Pringle provides what has been missing: facts and explanations, reasoned argument, and common ground. He reveals many dimensions of several controversies that will be familiar to most readers from media coverage, yet remain poorly understood: Is the monarch butterfly endangered by pesticide-laced corn? Are we throwing away our heritage of biodiversity? Are plant hunters cultural pirates? As the title indicates, Pringle points out the danger of a few large and poorly regulated corporations owning and controlling so much of the world's agriculture and genetic technology, but he doesn't demonize. Rather than simplifying a complicated subject, he accomplishes the more difficult task of presenting the complexities of genetic science, academic politics, corporate strategies, or international treaties in such a clear and interesting manner that readers come to appreciate and understand them. This is a book to satisfy curiosity and engender concern, and any of its chapters would provide an excellent subject for discussion groups.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Choice Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. 9780743226110 Pringle looks at the global war over genetically modified foods, pitting a handful of corporate, "life science" giants against a worldwide network of anticorporate individuals. He takes a middle-of-the-road approach and indicates that benefits of biotech agriculture to food are too valuable to be left to either side of this conflict. Corporations leading the genetically modified side indicate that these products offer a new survival against frost, drought, pest, and plague. Some governments have refused to approve planting of new genetically modified crops, pending further investigation. The ultimate vote of "no confidence" came in 1992 when African nations facing starvation turned away US food aid because it contained genetically modified corn. The book is extremely well written and interesting reading; neither of the combatants are going to be totally satisfied since a middle-of-the-road approach is what Pringle tries to maintain, telling both sides of the story. Notes; acknowledgments; adequate index. For all major libraries so that consumers can become knowledgeable in this battle that will be so important to them. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All levels. H. W. Ockerman Ohio State University
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780743226110 Imagine a world where yellow beans are patented, aromatic basmati rice has lost its fragrance because of genetic tinkering and Canadian farmers are sued by multinational behemoths because pollen from GM (genetically modified) crops somehow got into their fields and fertilized their plants. You don't have to imagine it: this, says Pringle, is the world we live in today. A widely published journalist, Pringle (Those Are Real Bullets) paints a troubling picture of the world's food supply. Multinational corporations are able to patent genes from crops that have been cultivated by farmers for centuries; governments of starving African nations refuse GM food they fear is poisonous; scientists hastily publish research that is blown out of proportion by the news media; and "green" activists vandalize greenhouses and fields where scientists are conducting GM research. Pringle roundly castigates all sides. Scientists, he says, have been remarkably inventive in their endeavors to improve the food we eat, using a gene from daffodils, for example, in growing golden rice with high levels of vitamin A that can help prevent blindness in the undernourished. But large corporations, he asserts, have squandered the public's good will toward GM products as they rushed so-called "Frankenfoods" into stores without adequate testing or disclosure of what makes it different. Pringle gives some glimmer of hope for the future through time-honored methods of cross-pollination, but his main story is of an industry with great potential for feeding starving millions and reducing our reliance on chemical pesticides, but that has instead created a global mess. Agent, Amanda Urban. (June 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Book JacketEruption! : volcanoes and the science of saving lives
by Text by Elizabeth Rusch ; photographs by Tom Uhlman.
Book JacketThunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators
by Jim Arnosky
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781402756610 After revisiting favorite birding spots with his wife an. partner in adventure. Deanna, Arnosky offers a beautifully illustrated book featuring large avian predators: eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, herons, egrets, pelicans, loons, cormorants, and gannets. Beside paragraphs introducing each bird or group of birds, the book offers impressive, often full-size acrylic paintings illustrating, for instance, an osprey with one wing fully extended or a close-u. group portrai. of owls that shows their relative sizes. In addition, small black-and-gray silhouettes illustrate an eagle, a hawk, and a falcon in flight, and shaded pencil drawings show details such as a pelican's pouch expanding as it traps a fish underwater. Whether holding a wounded wild eagle as a biologist stitches his wing muscle or watching a flock of vultures as they feed on an alligator carcass, Arnosky's experiences with birds form a memorable counterpoint to the information provided. An author's note lists the parks, refuges, and sanctuaries visited and recommends books for further reading.--Phelan, Caroly. Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781402756610 "Marvel at these awe-inspiring creatures with us," invites author and illustrator Arnosky in this enriching avian celebration. Foldout pages group birds according to species and common characteristics. Lifelike owls peer at readers with deep, glassy eyes; in a section featuring birds of prey, an osprey's spectacular wing spans three panels, and journallike passages vividly document Arnosky's observations of each bird: "The pelican was catching raindrops to quench its thirst! Suddenly, I wanted to go out in the downpour and drink rainwater too." Arnosky's enthusiasm is evident in his deftly crafted images and in the immediacy of his "field-note" style. Ages 6-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781402756610 Gr 4-6-From the powerful osprey on the jacket with its outstretched wing and glittering eyes, through eagles and owls, herons and vultures, and loons and pelicans, Arnosky's painterly eye and literary hand portray more than 20 "flying predators." The brief text is both informative and personal, if not in-depth. Readers are told that vultures have bare heads for "cleaner" feeding in and on a carcass as a practical matter, and given a personal touch of watching a thirsty brown pelican catch raindrops during a coastal downpour. Accompanying the masterful acrylics, myriad pencil sketches illuminate the margins surrounding the text, ranging from a great blue heron's spidery footprint to an actual-size eagle's foot, talons and all. The author supplies a list of birding sites, bird books, and a metric equivalency chart. Six foldout pages allow for the life-size illustrations. Elegant in format and artwork, this book will not accompany young birders into the field, but will be a rich resource for remembering special sightings, and inspire them to keep their eyes on the sky.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book JacketSo You Want to be President
by David Small
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399234071 Gr 4-8-Curious tidbits of personal information and national history combine with humorously drawn caricatures to give this tongue-in-cheek picture book a quirky appeal. "There are good things about being President and there are bad things about being President." So begins a walk through a brief history of facts, successes, oddities, and mishaps. For example, most readers won't know that William Howard Taft weighed over 300 pounds and ordered a specially made bathtub. Small's drawing of a naked Taft being lowered into a water-filled tub by means of a crane should help them remember. Another spread depicts a men's shop where Andrew Johnson (a tailor) fits Ronald Reagan (an actor) for a suit while Harry Truman (a haberdasher) stands behind the counter. While the text exposes the human side of the individuals, the office of the presidency is ultimately treated with respect and dignity. A list of presidents with terms of office, birthplace, date of birth and death, and a one-sentence summary of their accomplishments is provided. This title will add spark to any study of this popular subject.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399234071 HThis lighthearted, often humorous roundup of anecdotes and trivia is cast as a handbook of helpful hints to aspiring presidential candidates. St. George (Sacagawea; Crazy Horse) points out that it might boost your odds of being elected if your name is James (the moniker of six former presidents) or if your place of birth was a humble dwelling ("You probably weren't born in a log cabin. That's too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight"). She serves up diverse, occasionally tongue-in-cheek tidbits and spices the narrative with colorful quotes from her subjects. For instance, she notes that "Warren Harding was a handsome man, but he was one of our worst Presidents" due to his corrupt administration, and backs it up with one of his own quotes, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here." Meanwhile, Small (The Gardener) shows Harding crowned king of a "Presidential Beauty Contest"; all the other presidents applaud him (except for a grimacing Nixon). The comical, caricatured artwork emphasizes some of the presidents' best known qualities and amplifies the playful tone of the text. For an illustration of family histories, Small depicts eight diminutive siblings crawling over a patient young George Washington; for another featuring pre-presidential occupations, Harry Truman stands at the cash register of his men's shop while Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) makes alterations on movie star Ronald Reagan's suit. The many clever, quirky asides may well send readers off on a presidential fact-finding missionDand spark many a discussion of additional anecdotes. A clever and engrossing approach to the men who have led America. Ages 7-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399234071 Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. Portraits of the presidents can be generally described as staid, stodgy, and dull. Throw these adjectives out the window when describing this book's group portrayal of American presidents. St. George leads her audience, ostensibly young presidential hopefuls, through the good points of the presidency (big house with its own bowling alley and movie theater) and bad points (lots of homework). Then she offers a spiffy presidential history with comparisions and contrasts: most popular names, log cabin origins, ages, looks, backgrounds, pets, musical abilities, favorite sports, and personalities ("William McKinley was so nice that he tried to stop a mob from attacking the man who had just shot him"). The book holds out the possibility that someday a woman, a person of color, or a person who is neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic might be elected president. The discussion ends with the oath of office and the thought that most presidents have tried to do their best to fulfill it. David Small's delightful illustrations, usually droll and sometimes hilarious, will draw children to the book and entertain them from page to page. Memorable images include the comical sight of the obese President Taft being lowered into a bathtub by a crane and a powerful scene showing two figures, Nixon (looking disgruntled) and Clinton (looking dejected), descending the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, under the shadow of impeachment. Thoughtful composition and layout both contribute to the lively visual presentation of this most original look at the presidency. The light tone of the book makes it possible for readers to absorb a great deal of information, some of it silly, but underlying the treatment is a sense of the significance and dignity of the office and the faith that children still aspire to be president. --Carolyn Phelan
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Book JacketBubble Trouble
by Margaret Mahy
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780547074214 The trouble begins when sister Mabel blows a bubble that bobbles over baby and wafts him away. Baby floats over mother, past the neighbors, and through the busy streets as bystanders join the chase. How to bring baby down? A human ladder forms and a slingshot finally solves the problem, but then who's going to catch the baby? Mahy is clearly in love with language here, as she offers a text that flounces and bounces like the baby in the bubble: But she bellowed, / 'Gracious, Greville!' / and she groveled on the gravel / when the baby in the bubble / bibble-bobbled overhead. Dunbar uses watercolors accented with cut paper to chronicle the silliness. The story goes on a bit long for the youngest, but children will find their ears perking up at the tongue-twisting text, and they may become word lovers, too, after listening to this.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2009 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780547074214 Starred Review. PreS-Gr 2-A truckload of trouble and mountains of mayhem ensue when young Mabel blows a bubble that enfolds her baby brother and carries him aloft. He is pursued by his frantic mother and sister, "crumpled Mr. Copple and his wife," "feeble Mrs. Threeble," "Greville Gribble," the chapel choir, and other townsfolk. The text floats in waves along with the bouncing baby across the energetic watercolor and cut-paper spreads. Dressed in stripes and plaids, nightshirts and jogging suits, the crowd sprints along through backyards and gardens, gesticulating wildly as the smiling infant floats by. Eventually, the rescuers form a human ladder to reach him. But Abel, "a rascal and a rebel," performs a dastardly deed with his slingshot and the people watch in horror as the baby plummets through the air. It takes three page turns for readers to reach the delightful resolution of this perilous predicament. There is no mistaking the baby's happy landing as his smiling face and waving arms and feet fill the spread. This tale, with its over-the-top silliness, is a storyhour gem. And with some practice, the rhyme, alliterative phrases, and names will fall trippingly off the tongue. Fabulous fun!-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book JacketStupid Fast
by Herback, Geoff

Publishers Weekly Adult author Herbach (The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg) delivers an alternately fascinating and awkward novel that sometimes seems to exist in denial of its own characters. Felton Reinstein's late puberty during his sophomore year turned him into an incredible runner, which has landed him on both the track and football teams. Socially isolated, he is resigned to a lonely summer with his unpredictable widowed mother and piano-prodigy younger brother. But things become complicated as Felton meets beautiful new girl Aleah, he is drawn into the football team's summer workouts, and his home life disintegrates. Herbach's story would be typical but for a narrative style that clearly paints Felton as developmentally disabled ("I sweated in my tight jeans because it was summer. I smelled the pee-smell of my own athlete's body"). This offers potential, but it's wasted by the denial practiced by practically everyone he deals with, including his mother (who, admittedly, has problems of her own). Instead of coming across as an actual element of his character, Felton's narrative voice reads as merely "quirky," and it creates issues that aren't adequately addressed. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Everything changes for Felton Reinstein during his fifteenth year. A growth spurt and the discovery of latent athletic talent tilt how the world views the teen, who thinks of himself as a little slow on the uptake. Hitherto unpopular and the object of jokes, suddenly Felton, who narrates the story in a hyper, slightly astounded voice, is going out for football, taken under the wing of one of his school's more popular jocks. Meanwhile, a paper route leads him to meet (and become sweet on) a musical prodigy, whose father is a visiting professor at the local college. If all this weren't enough, things at home are falling apart: Felton's mom has a breakdown as she tries to face Felton's maturation and younger brother's persistent probe of their father's suicide many years earlier. Suffice it to say, nothing is quite what Felton thinks. In this struggling and often clueless teen, Herbach has created an endearing character coming to terms with his past and present in a small, well-defined Wisconsin town.--Cruze, Kare. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-In his sophomore year, Fenton Reinstein's voice drops, he begins to grow hair all over his body, and he becomes "stupid fast." Previously indifferent to sports, he instantly becomes a star sprinter and is touted as the next savior of the football team before he has ever played a down. All is not entirely well, however. Fenton's only real friend, Gus, has gone to Venezuela with his family for the summer, and he has to take over Gus's paper route, a job he hates. More ominously, the teen's always-quirky mother, Jerri, has retreated into her own world and has left Fenton and his sweet, needy younger brother, Andrew, to basically fend for themselves. Fenton is also haunted by the early-childhood trauma of discovering his father's body after the man committed suicide. When African-American teen piano virtuoso Aleah Jennings and her father move into Gus's house for the summer, things begin to look up for Fenton. After an awkward beginning, the two establish a relationship that has its ups and downs, but helps to sustain Fenton as his mother's mental illness rages out of control. He and his sibling finally find the courage to contact their father's mother, who turns out not to be the shrewish ogre their mother described, but a loving, responsible adult who sees the boys through their crisis. The novel has some loose ends and needless plot contrivances, but in the end Fenton's sarcasm, anxiety, self-doubt, thoughtfulness, and compassion carry the day and perfectly capture the voice of his generation.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Book JacketCriss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780060092726 Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780060092726 Through narrative that has the flavor of stream-of-consciousness writing but is more controlled and poetic, Perkins (All Alone in the Universe) captures the wistful romantic yearnings of three friends on the brink of adolescence. There's Debbie, who makes a wish that "something different would happen. Something good. To me." There's Hector, who hears a guitarist and quite suddenly feels inspired to learn how to play the instrument. Then there's mechanical-minded Lenny who feels himself drawn to Debbie. The characters spend spring and summer wandering about their neighborhood, "criss crossing" paths, expanding their perspectives on the world while sensing that life will lead them to some exciting new experiences. (During a walk, Hector feels "as if the world was opening, like the roof of the Civic Arena when the sky was clear. Life was rearranging itself; bulging in places, fraying in spots.") Debbie forms a crush on a boy from California visiting his grandmother. Hector falls for a girl in his guitar class. Lenny hints at his feelings for Debbie by asking her on a date. All three loves remain unrequited, but by the end of the novel, Debbie, Hector and Lenny have grown a little wiser and still remain hopeful that good things lie ahead if they remain patient. Part love story, part coming-of-age tale, this book artfully expresses universal emotions of adolescence. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Book JacketEarthquake Games: Earthquakes and Volcanoes
by Matthys Levy
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780689813672 Gr. 5^-8. What causes earthquakes and volcanoes? How dangerous can they be? The authors answer these and other questions in a book for eager, science-minded children. Readers will gain a better understanding of the peculiarities of the earth's surface through explanations and enjoyable, well-designed games and experiments that range from reproducing a tsunami in the bathtub to constructing a seismograph to building a cardboard volcano. Although some of the experiments, which use familiar household items, require adult supervision, children can do many of the projects alone. Occasionally, the text may need further explanation, but those moments are offset by the book's many activities, illustrations, and straightforward questions and answers. An informative tool that effectively uses hands-on techniques to teach kids about geologic wonders. --Kathleen Squires
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780689813672 Gr 5-8?For readers searching for a science experiment or a project dealing with earthquakes or volcanoes, this book will be a solid source of ideas. Classroom teachers should find it a gold mine of facts and feats to make understanding the dynamics of these geological phenomena (and their effects on man-made structures) easier and more enjoyable. The use of the term game seems loosely applied (e.g., "Build a Seismometer Game" gives directions for constructing a seismometer) and seems to be more for appeal than accuracy. Safety instructions involving heat and flame are not always placed before the how-to's. Many of the accompanying diagrams are not on the same page as the instructions/information, which can lead to page-flipping confusion. For those who simply must create a volcanic eruption, there are several variations, which can be quite messy and/or slightly dangerous without adult supervision. A good deal of geology is imparted in the text. There is a chronology of important earthquakes and eruptions, and their global effects noted. While this title has its drawbacks, it is a rich source of experiments on a popular topic.?Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book JacketDavid And Goliath
by Malcolm Gladwell
Book JacketThe Beak of the Finch
by Jonathan Weiner

Library Journal This is an account of Peter and Rosemary Grant's research on the microevolutionary modifications that occur in finch beaks as they adapt to environmental changes. Analysis of data collected from 18,000 birds on a Galápagos island over 21 years conclusively demonstrates that the pressures of natural selection are currently altering wild populations. Also, by incorporating others' work on present-day evolutionary variations in fish, insects, and microbes, Weiner (The Next One Hundred Years, LJ 2/1/90) challenges the concept of evolution as a time-frozen process. Harmonized with the writings of Charles Darwin, this book provides the facts to bring alive evolution as an ongoing process. Highly recommended for general collections, but informed readers would do better with Peter Grant's own Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches (Princeton Univ. Pr., 1986).-Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice A noted long-term study of Darwin's finches has become recognized by many as the best evidence of evolution occurring now in the natural world. A husband-and-wife team of biologists from Princeton, Peter and Rosemary Grant, followed generations of the finches in the Galapagos Islands for more than two decades, and this book is the story of their discoveries. Weiner is a talented writer of popular science; his accounts of this extraordinary investigation weave the current research findings into a broader evolutionary matrix--from the historical accounts of Darwin's own work to modern molecular biology (e.g., DNA changes in the finches). The book also reviews other current studies on observable evolution by scientists throughout the world and provides an insightful reflection on modern human redirection of evolutionary trends. The accounts blend science and personalities in a very readable way. Widely praised and recommended work. General; undergraduate; graduate. C. Leck; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Book list "We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence," Darwin said, and that's what Weiner does, too, in his account of the study of Galapagos finches undertaken by Peter and Rosemary Grant some 20 years ago. The Grants set up camp on Daphne Major, an island of sheer cliffs and no freshwater except for what falls from the sky, but such inhospitable features ensured that finches would follow their life cycles without human interference. The Grants have documented some 13 species of "Darwin's finches," including one that is flightless; one that cohabits with marine iguanas; one, the vampire finch, that lives on blood; one that is entirely vegetarian; and one, the cactus finch, that makes tools with its beak. The Grants caught and banded thousands of finches and traced their elaborate lineage, enabling them to document the changes that individual species make, primarily to their beaks, in reaction to the environment. (During prolonged drought, for instance, beaks may become longer and sharper, to reach the tiniest of seeds.) Even more fascinating, the Grants have documented changes in DNA among their birds, suggesting a refutation of creationism, if one were needed, and leading Weiner to declare that "Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. He vastly underestimated the power of natural selection. Its action is neither rare nor slow. It leads to evolution daily and hourly, all around us, and we can watch." An engaging account of a seminal study that introduces the reader to Darwin and to the dedicated, tireless biologists who have proved him right. ~--John Mort

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly For more than 20 years Rosemary and Peter Grant have divided their time between Daphne Major in the Galapagos and Princeton University. On the tiny island they have intensively studied six species of Darwin's ground finches; at Princeton, they analyze their collected data. In following their work Weiner ( Planet Earth ) tells a remarkable story of continuing evolution, and of the painstaking research that reveals it. The Grants documented two dramatic changes in the finches: after a drought in 1977 reduced their numbers by 85%, the surviving birds became larger, in weight, wingspan and beak; after El Nino's floods in 1983, the trend was reversed. The Grants found that during food shortages the difference of one millimeter in the size of a finch's beak could determine its life or death. In his eloquent and richly informative report, Weiner surveys as well research on evolution being done on crossbills, sticklebacks and fruit flies. Illustrations. 40,000 first printing; BOMC, QPB , History Book Club and Natural Science Book Club alternates. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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Book JacketPossession
by A S Byatt
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780679735908 Two contemporary scholars, each studying one of two Victorian poets, reconstruct their subjects' secret extramarital affair through poems, journal entries, letters and modern scholarly analysis of the period. PW called this Booker Prize winner ``an ambitious and wholly satisfying work, a nearly perfect novel.'' (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Book JacketAmerican Born Chinese
by Gene Luen Yang