CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 28 . . . . March 23, 2012
Rainforest Research Journal is a nonfiction work by Paul Mason about the Amazon Basin. The text in this book appears as diary entries, emails, or ‘official looking’ files. The information about the Amazon is divided into 13 chapters about animals, like piranhas and poison frogs, the tribal people called the Yanomami, and the environment of the forest and the flooded areas around the river.
In the chapter on giant spiders, readers learn that the Brazilian wandering spider is venomous, causing the heart and muscles of its victim to stop working. The email from a scientist on the subject of river health tells readers that the river is in good health and the insect life is very rich. The scientist had spotted a giant beetle. The diary entry tells readers that, after a day of camping by the Amazon River, the narrator’s guide caught a giant catfish from the river, a fish which they ate for dinner.
Rainforest Research Journal offers a hands on description of the Amazon, giving the reader real “you are there” rainforest knowledge. Students who are interested in unusual places will get a very clear picture of what the Amazon Basin looks like as well as a sense of the wildlife and native people.
The many photographs throughout Rainforest Research Journal add to the reader’s comprehension of the unfamiliar content. A glossary defines new vocabulary such as “carcass,” “deforestation,” and “nutrients.”
Robert Groberman is a grade three teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School in Surrey, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.