Snowy Owl Invasion!: Tracking an Unusual Migration

48p. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Feb. 2018. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781512431063.
RedReviewStarGr 3–6—In 2013, snowy owls made an unusual trip south, but that detour is only part of the story acclaimed science writer Markle shares in her latest book. Markle starts with background information, revealing why so many snowy owls traveled south, and then explains how scientists quickly capitalized on the circumstances to tag the birds and follow their migration routes. The story gains momentum as Markle details the importance of the food chain and provides insight from scientists working with the owls. These interviews and accompanying photographs set the book apart and bring the story to life. The writing is easy to understand and never boring. The main narrative is laid out in full-color spreads, accompanied by photographs (some stock, some provided by the scientists) and maps. Full-page sidebars are differentiated from the main text by changes in backgrounds and typefaces. The distinctions are subtle but make the reading experience flow that much more easily. Similarly, definitions are addressed naturally within the text, providing no interruptions. Markle's author's note ends the tale and is also a good read. She explains how she tracked down sources and why it was important to talk to the scientists. It's a terrific note that encourages both budding naturalists and science writers of all ages.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for STEM collections.

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