The Frog Scientist (Scientist in the Field) The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner

I don’t read many science books cover to cover, but this one stands out for two reasons. First, it actually makes the scientific method sound interesting. Turner goes through the process of creating and testing a hypothesis in a somewhat simplified but fascinating way. It’s both a nifty experiment – the idea of thousands of frogs growing in Hayes’ laboratories – and one with a practical, immediate use – whether certain pesticides should be banned. A book like this would be a great tie-in to any lessons on experiments or the real-world applications of biology. It’s also a great read for any kid interested in a career in science, or anyone who loves frogs.

Which leads me to the second reason this stands out – like Frogs, the photographs are great. Some of the lab photos look pretty posed, but they still give a sense of what Hayes and his students are doing in the lab. But the frog photos really shine and would make this a treat for frog fans to flip through.

Chapters are fairly short but in-depth, probably making this a good choice for strong readers, maybe 4th grade and up, although I think it would still interest middle school and even some high school readers.

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This is on the list for SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books this year – one of the 5 titles I hadn’t already read.  One down, four to go.  The others are Marching for Freedom; Peace, Locomotion; The Storm in the Barn; and Sweethearts of Rhythm. I’ve got to fill out my brackets before the judging starts!  I’ve got the top half figured out – I’ve got high hopes for The Lost Conspiracy, but there are several others that I’d be happy to see make it to the last round.  But really, I’m more interested in what the celebrity judges have to say than in what they actually pick.  They’ve got some of my favorite authors judging  – where else will I see Nancy Farmer, Gary Schmidt, Jim Murphy, Shannon Hale, M.T. Anderson, Megan Whalen Turner and Katherine Paterson in the same place?  I’m trying not to squeal.

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