Nature Out of Balance: How Invasive Species Are Changing the Planet

Orca. (Orca Footprints). Feb. 2021. 48p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459823952.
Gr 3-6–This latest series entry provides a thorough overview of invasive species and how they impact the ecosystems into which they are introduced. Compelling real-life examples from around the world show the consequences of introducing a plant, insect, or animal into an environment where it is not native. The brief stories and explanations invite readers to think more critically about the living beings in their own communities. The text concludes with concrete actions that readers can take to avoid and combat the effects of invasive species. The attractive design features “Invasive All-Stars” sections and short “Eco-Fact” sidebars. There are a mix of stock photos, historical and scientific images, and photos obtained from conservation and environmental management groups. While many of the scientists and volunteers depicted are white, there are also some children of color. One photo shows a young person working on pulling invasive plants while using a motorized wheelchair. Back matter includes a resource list, an index, and a glossary.
VERDICT A high-quality introduction to a topic not often covered in books for middle graders.

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