Happy Book Birthday to Heather L. Montgomery with her new MG Nonfiction Who Gives a Poop? Surprising Science From One End to the Other.
As if her book about roadkill (Something Rotten) wasn’t gross enough, Heather Montgomery brings us a book about poop. And just like her roadkill book, this one is stuffed with science and scientists. She writes about Dr. Logan Kistler, an archaeologist that specializes in archaeogenomics and who, by studying mastodon poop, made a connection between ancient wild gourds and the pumpkins we eat today. There’s also Dr. Daniella Chusyd, who trained her dogs to sniff out elephant dung so it could be analyzed to determine why the forest elephants in Africa are declining in numbers.
Even though there is a lot of information about defecation in this book, it’s also a fascinating look at real scientists and how the scientific method is used to answer questions and solve problems. Not only did I learn how important whale dung is to phytoplankton and the overall health of our oceans, I learned how scientists study this subject. Who knew there were so many cool jobs as a scientist?
Heather’s unbridled enthusiasm for all things in nature, even poop, is intoxicating. She makes the science of scat so interesting that you almost forget to be grossed out. Written in a personal, humorous narrative style, I felt like I was riding along with Heather when she interviewed the scientists and I was looking over her shoulder when she did hands-on research. Her detailed description of cutting open the bowels of a dead possum is probably one of the grossest things I’ve ever read.
I highly recommend Who Gives A Poop? Young readers, ages ten and up, will be all over this book like a dung beetle on deer droppings. It would be great for the classroom too!
Kirkus gave it a starred review. “A well-stirred slurry of facts and fun for the strong-stomached ‘poop sleuths’.”
Heather Montgomery has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Education. She has published 17 books for young people. Learn more about her at www.heatherlmontgomery.com.
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