Book Review: Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis

Beloved Beasts is a richly informative history of the international conservation movement and the central figures who have played crucial roles in developing conservationism and moving conservation efforts forward. The book is also about the ongoing debates, both philosophical and pragmatic, about “humanity’s proper place on earth” (3). Written by Michelle Nijhuis, an award-winning environmental …

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Book Review: Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate’s Willodeen, out today from Feiwel and Friends, aptly begins with an epigraph quoting Greta Thunberg: “I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.”  This middle-grade novel geared towards tweens, but also appropriate for younger readers, explores surprisingly mature topics in a way that is still accessible and engaging for …

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Book Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Studies of animal intelligence have demonstrated the impressive cognitive abilities of certain animals: rhesus macaques, crows, bottlenose dolphins, border collies.  Recently, there is another animal gaining increasing recognition for its intelligence: the octopus. The Soul of an Octopus is, as its subtitle aptly describes, “a surprising exploration into the wonders of consciousness.”  Written by Sy …

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Book Review: The Meaning of Birds by Simon Barnes

In The Meaning of Birds, Simon Barnes traces the history of birds—as well as humans’ relationships and interactions with them—over several millennia and across multiple continents. Barnes is a UK-based nature writer, so North American readers will enjoy an opportunity to become more familiar with Britain’s backyard birds, such as the wood pigeon, the Scottish …

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