We had to get this The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson. First, it’s about bats, one of Amber’s favorite animals. Second, it’s part of the Scientists is in the Field series, which we love. Third, we met the author at the Ohioana Book Festival and she signed it.

“The single biggest threat to bats is human ignorance about them,” says Merlin Tuttle. “Most people are very happy to protect bats if only they understand them.” (pg 28)

This book goes are far way in helping middle school kids learn about bats. It talks about the different types, about their habitats and about threats they face. It tells how bats help people, eating insects, and in a couple of towns drawing in lots of tourists.

Amber already knows a lot about bats. You have to remember we’ve been reading animal books since she was little. What impressed me about this book is that it talks about the scientists with Bat Conservation International who are out there studying bats, learning more about these mysterious animals and figuring out ways to protect them, from creating covers for abandoned mines that bats can get through but people can’t to building artificial roosts for them. It talks about tools they use, from thermal imaging cameras to mist nets. These scientist are men and women who truly care about bats and that shines through. A couple of them discovered their passion for bats when they were young, and I think it’s encouraging to see grown-ups who really did become what they dreamed of when they were kids.

The photos, taken by Tom Uhlman, are outstanding. There are detailed close-ups of a wide variety of bats, from adorable cuddly one to kinda freaky ones. He shows us bats’ homes and the scientists at their jobs.

This is great non-fiction for kids in grades 4-7. The information is well-presented, interesting and informative. Amber, at least, loves non-fiction, but books need to add to what she already knows and keep her attention. Photos are great too, she’s a visual person and they definitely add to the interest of the book. The Bat Scientists fits the bill perfectly. Honestly, if you have a kid who likes bats or science in general, pick this one up.

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

4½ out of 5 stars

Category: Middle School- Non-fiction- Science & Nature, Animals

Scientists in the Field
Published September 6, 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
80 pages

Book source: Purchased

Kid Konnection