Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Heather L. Montgomery
Illustrator: Kevin O'Malley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Have you ever wondered what happens to those animals that meet an unfortunate end on the highway? Heather Montgomery, a writer and biologist from Alabama, answers every question you never knew you had about roadkill. Did you know that Tasmanian Devils are endangered, in part because of a contagious cancer? Scientists learned that from roadkill. Did you know that an invasive species of python has brought parasites to the native snakes of Florida? Scientists learned that from roadkill, too. This book explains how flattened animals are used for all sorts of bizarre purposes. Scientists study roadkill to learn more about individual species, some study patterns in roadkill locations. Some taxidermists turn carcasses into works of art, and many animals are used as food, either for humans or for zoo animals. This book is a fascinating look at the many ways human beings use roadkill.
This book takes a sensitive topic and presents it in a scientific, yet humorous, light. The author doesn't shy away from the gore inherent in this topic, but she doesn't glorify it either. She manages to present the topic of roadkill with both the humor and gravitas it deserves. Every chapter focuses on a different way roadkill is used, and each section is interesting. There are footnotes on every page, which are helpful in understanding some scientific terms used. This book also uses excellent descriptive vocabulary. The reader really feels like he or she is there with the author, studying these interesting creatures.
*Contains mild violence