Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
In the research records, its name was B95 but his amazing, 20–year migration record led the scientists who researched this tiny Rufa red knot to call him "Moonbird." His long life and incredible flights have taken him the distance to the moon and halfway back. Phillip Hooses' book about the bird and the researchers that study him was named an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book.
This book has an especially appealing narrative and great value in demonstrating the practices of science as the research techniques developed and used to establish the migration pattern of a 4–ounce shorebird from one end of the Earth to the other unfold. The techniques described (from analysis of crab blood to special netting and tagging techniques) are state–of–the–art. Profiles of seven of the researchers provide readers with an understanding of the different paths and talents to scientific careers. Geographic notes and maps describing some of the remote places along the route—from the Arctic, over the Amazon Rainforest, to the Antarctic—provide another dimension to the narrative.
The last chapter describes the efforts to prevent extinction and positive steps that a "young birder" might take. The book is secondary–level reading, but the fascination with the topic might enchant younger readers. It could be shared with an entire middle–level class, week by week, as the migration of the birds is followed. However it is used, this book will be treasured and remembered.
Review posted on 1/16/2013