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Holt McDougal Library: The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (Hardback) Grades 6-8 (The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (Awards)) Hardcover – August 18, 2010


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Holt McDougal Library: The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (Hardback) Grades 6-8 (The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award  (Awards)) + Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards))
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See the books our editors' chose as the Best Children's Books of 2014 So Far or see the lists by age: Baby-2 | Ages 3-5 | Ages 6-8 | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 08
  • Lexile Measure: 1160L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (August 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374361738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374361730
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up–This meticulously researched labor of love uses drama, suspense, and mystery to tell the story of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the first modern endangered species. Its story is also the story of America, its economics and its politics, its settlement and its development, its plume hats and its environmental protection laws. In 1800, the large and impressive woodpecker lived in the southeastern United States, from Texas to the Carolinas and as far north as Indiana. By 1937, it could be found on only one tract of land in northeastern Louisiana. Its last confirmed sighting was in Cuba in 1987. Hoose skillfully introduces each individual involved through interesting, historically accurate scenes. Readers meet John James Audubon as well as less familiar people who played a part in the Ivory-bill story as artists, collectors, ornithologists, scientists, and political activists. Sharp, clear, black-and-white archival photos and reproductions appear throughout. The author's passion for his subject and high standards for excellence result in readable, compelling nonfiction, particularly appealing to young biologists and conservationists.–Laurie von Mehren, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brecksville, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Hoose details the history of the Ivory-billed woodpecker through the lives and work of those who studied it, painted it, and tried to save it from extinction as settlers and loggers reduced its habitat. Increasingly threatened by those who would kill it for sport, for its feathers, or paradoxically because its rarity made it valuable to collectors, the woodpecker found protectors in a growing number of scientists and bird lovers who took up the challenge of observing the bird and attempting to save the dwindling species. Once a distinctive inhabitant of wilderness areas in the southeastern U.S. (with a related variety in Cuba), the Ivory bill has evidently died out as a result of loss of habitat. A great deal of original research went into the writing of this book, as evidenced in the text and the detailed, discursive source notes that are appended along with a time line and glossary. Science, economics, and social and timely political history are intertwined in this precise, chronological record. Profusely illustrated with black-and-white photos. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Mr. Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters.

His children's book, "Hey, Little Ant" (Tricycle Press, 1998), inspired by his daughter Ruby and co-authored by his daughter Hannah, received a Jane Addams Children's Book Award.

His "It's Our World, Too! Stories of Young People Who Are Making a Difference" (Little, Brown, 1993) won a Christopher Award for "artistic excellence in books affirming the highest values of the human spirit."

His most recent book, "The Race to Save the Lord God Bird" (Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004) received the Boston Globe Horn Book Award and was named a Top Ten American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults among many additional honors. "We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History" (Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001) was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition, it was dubbed a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an International Reading Association Teacher's Choice.

PHILLIP HOOSE was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in the towns of South Bend, Angola, and Speedway, Indiana. He was educated at Indiana University and the Yale School of Forestry. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I thought that this book was well written, reasearched, and thought through.
Jawaja Jones
And when the ivory-billed woodpecker was recently sighted, I felt like I somehow shared in the victory after having read Hoose's work.
Robert A. Stein
I picked this book up based on recommendations from online reader groups who said it would read more like fiction than non-fiction.
Tamela Mccann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Meggie on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
An exceptionally well documented and highly readable book about the ivory billed woodpecker. Though the reader knows how the book will end, one becomes so attached to this bird that when the last bird's home has been destroyed the reader has a true understanding of the word extinct. Don't miss this one.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Originally designed and published as a children's book for teenage readers, Philip Hoose's The Race To Save The Lord God Bird is also confidently recommended an ideal introduction for an adult readership as a very highly recommended survey of the process of extinction and changing attitudes towards understanding and protecting species and habitats. From James J. Audubon's early efforts to the plume wars to early collectors of birds, The Race To Save The Lord God Bird documents the ravaging of the bird world around the turn of the century - and the slow realizations of bird extinction processes which evolved from there.
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Richie Partington VINE VOICE on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got

Till it's gone?

"Before white settlement, more than one-quarter of all the birds in what is now the United States were Passenger Pigeons. They were so abundant that in 1810 Alexander Wilson saw a flock pass overhead that was a mile wide and 240 miles long, containing over two billion birds. That flock could have stretched nearly twenty-three times around the equator. Passenger Pigeons were pretty and brown, with small grayish heads, barrel chests, and long, tapered wings that sent them through the sky at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

"But they had two problems: they were good to eat and they destroyed crops by eating seeds. Farmers not only shot them, but also cast huge nets over fields to trap them by the thousands. It took only a few decades to wipe out what may have been the most plentiful bird ever to live on the earth. A fourteen-year-old boy named Press Clay Southworth shot the last wild Passenger Pigeon in 1900. The species became extinct in 1914, when Martha, the last captive pigeon, died quietly in the Cincinnati Zoo."

You know those arcade games with a steering wheel and a gas pedal? (There never seems to be a brake pedal on those things.) Well, sometimes the world feels to me just like one of those babies, careening along full speed, sound effects and all, with all of us just trying to hold on and not send anyone or anything flying off the road. And then there are also those times it feels like I'm out there on that animated road like a deer in the headlights, waving my arms with all those crazy drivers blindly bearing down on me.

"Humans now use up more than half of the world's fresh water and nearly half of everything that's grown on land.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Curious City Kirsten Cappy on September 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Phil Hoose is a stunning storyteller. From his descriptions of the Native Americans who wore the heads of this woodpecker around their neck in hopes of "drilling holes through their enemies" to the collectors of the 1800's who shot the bird in the 100's to mount in their home-spun museums to the ornithologists who struggled through endless swamp land just to photograph this beautiful bird--Hoose captures not only the magnificence of this bird, but America's mad march towards progress and the sacrifices we made. You need not be a birder to be captured by this brilliant weaving of ecology and history. Despite the ivory bill woodpecker's apparent extinction from the US swamps, this is not a hopeless story, by any means. The fight to save the Lord God Bird taught us innumerable lessons about habitat, preservation and reverence. A compelling read for ANYONE over age 11.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Earl on May 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I take exception to the reviewer who said this book was a ripoff. "The Race to Save the Lord God Bird" is an excellent children's book, and it's not fair to judge it side-by-side with books written for adults. I thought Mr. Hoose's earlier book "It's our World, Too!" is a classic, and "Hey, Little Ant" was one of my daughter's favorite books in kindergarten. Ivory-bill enthusiasts will also enjoy "In Search of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker" by Jerome Jackson, a dedicated scientist who refused against all odds to declare this species extinct. I recommend it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By a children's literature consultant on May 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am a children's book professional who consults with schools & libraries and, as such, I read hundreds of new books every year. It is no small compliment, then, when I say that The Race to Save the Lord God Bird ranks as one of the best-written, most insightful non-fiction books I have EVER had the pleasure of reading! Who knew that a book about one bird species could be such a captivating page-turner?

Lest you non-birders think that this book is not for you, I'll mention that my interest in the Ivory-billed woodpecker was merely a passing one until I picked up this book, at the urging of several colleagues. Phillip Hoose's remarkable accounting for the life of this one species has since turned that "passing interest" into a passion, compelling me to put this book into the hands of friends, family members, teachers, librarians, and anyone who's expressed even the slightest interest in things science- or history-related.

And NOW, with the announcement that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been rediscovered, I feel wonderfully grateful to Phillip Hoose for having given so many of us such deep insight into WHY this re-discovery is truly remarkable news! It should be made clear that Hoose's book does not include information about the recent Ivory-billed sightings in Arkansas, because it was published well before the re-discovery was announced. But what The Race to Save the Lord God Bird does include is perhaps even more important -- a wonderfully clear depiction of how we came to "lose" this magnificent bird in the first place and an understanding of the mistakes we cannot allow ourselves to make again.

Do not dismiss this as being a book for "children," as it is anything but. It is a book for EVERYONE, and everyone you give it to will be thanking you for putting it into their hands.
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