Box Turtles
by Lynn M. Stone

48 pp.
Lerner Publications Co.
Minneapolis, MN
ISBN: 9781575058693

Grade Level: 5-7

Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor

Many animal books for children focus on the exotic and the extinct. Yet there are many fascinating animals in the backyard or nearby field from which students can learn a tremendous amount of natural history. This book begins close to home and extends readers' understanding across the globe.

Readers learn about the four species of box turtles found in North America and gain interesting information about their habitats, feeding habits, and reproductive behavior. Unusually clear and detailed photos of anatomical details like shells and claws are ideal for discussions of adaptations to habitat. Information on metabolism (torpor and hibernation) as well as population density and energetics will challenge students to stretch their content understanding.

The book includes discussions of ongoing research into mysteries like the habitats of less-known species, to emphasize the process of science. This book will fascinate elementary students (who will begin with the photos) and inform older students through high school. It's an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book not only because of its accurate science but because it catches students at home and extends their understanding in significant content areas.

Review posted on 3/6/2008

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