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It’s a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops Hardcover – March 11, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (March 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030010863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300108637
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A single mother who studies the science of eaten leaves (herbivory), Lowman (Life in the Treetops) has traveled to distant tropical locations such as Peru, India and Samoa, often with her two sons in tow, and in this testament to her rarified approach to parenting, urges parents to get out there with their kids and let them get dirty. Her co-authors are her sons, and their essays on Biosphere 2, bromeliads and beetles bolster her claims that immersion in nature can produce young conservationists. She also boasts that her science work and her parenting style inform one another and help promote her goal of expanding forest conservation. She proselytizes throughout the book for environmental education, but it is the stories of spending water-logged nights aloft in the rainforest canopy and gross-out stories of eating hissing cockroaches that persuade most effectively. Readers will find themselves skipping through her repetitive exhortations to get back to the forests in order to get at the book's meat: adventure stories and oddball ecological information. The essays by her sons read like college-admissions essays, and the illustrations are needlessly whimsical, but Lowman's spirited tale of science and single parenting is inspirational.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Following up her very poplar Life in the Treetops (1999), rainforest biologist Lowman chronicles her life as a scientist who is also a single mom (her two sons, Edward and James Burgess, are listed as coauthors). It's a family adventure that spans the globe, from Peru to India to Panama and beyond. While the book addresses some pertinent scientific issues, such as species extinction and the devastation of the rainforests, readers will also enjoy the more personal elements of the story: the difficulties of bringing up two boys in some of the world's most isolated places. Lowman is a nimble writer, several cuts above many of her popular-science contemporaries; and her passion for her profession, and for her children, is both powerful and moving. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Meg Lowman is one of the foremost canopy ecologists of our time.
Timothy Schowalter
The author, an internationally acclaimed scientist, gives a forestful of hope that it can be done.
Florence Rivas
Their authentic voices make this a great book to share with young people.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CAB on May 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a really terrific read! In this book Dr. Lowman has co-authored with her sons, we find a beautiful story of developing a conservation ethic for families. The tone is so positive and inviting, I felt like I was up in the canopy with them.

One of the really captivating elements of this book is the wonderful journal notes and essays by her sons. Their authentic voices make this a great book to share with young people. For example, her son's last touching essay in the book summarizes their family quest to combine science and spirituality in efforts to expand scientific research into a more global sense of responsibility through conservation. This is a topic seldom touched in science writing. What wise thoughful teenagers!

What I loved most about this book was that many parts of Lowman's story are the story of women in science, my story, about the challenges of balancing a career and the rest of our lives. Lowman's book is just the ticket for inspiration AND some reassurance that we can have a well-lived life that combines a passion for science with family and community. I am in awe of the courage it must have taken to share such a personal story, filled with adventure, challenge, adversity in the work place, loss, humor, and quite a few poisonous snakes. We could use an Earth of sons and daughters raised by her.

Lowman really is a role model for parents to become stewards of all of Earth's creatures, and her passion and work efforts certainly have made inroads to this goal. Through this story, Dr. Lowman and her sons will inspire and mentor thousands of current and future naturalists, both boys and girls. As I finished the last pages of this book, I decided I need to find my copy of her earlier book "Life in the Treetops" and read it again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Newton Munnow on February 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I suppose it depends what you're expecting. I felt a little deceived having read 'It's a Jungle Up There', not that it's Lowman's fault. The packaging, press and quotes suggested it might be something more, say along the lines of E O Wilson. But this is not an original look at man's relationship to the world. It's more of a cheerleading exercise for the mixture of motherhood and biology. It's filled with enthusiasm for nature, but also with personal asides and exlamation marks. ("Happy Anniversary Michael!"). At the risk of sounding like a real grinch, the book is unforgivably padded by pages written by her two sons. All of these essays, of which there are many, read like college applications. It's a thin book, aimed perhaps at a younger generation. People looking for meatier stuff should keep on looking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan A. Jarzen on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Notes on Margaret Lowman's book, "It's a Jungle Up There---More tales from the Treetops," with Edward and James Burgess. Yale University Press, 2006.

Margaret Lowman is a remarkable woman scientist. I say this not only after reading this book and her first book, "Life in the Treetops," but because I had the rare opportunity to be her Executive Assistant for 8 months during 2002-2003 while employed at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. Meg is an inimitable, intriguingly interesting scientist, enthusiastic about canopy research, ecology, and her family. This excitement exudes from within her into one's very own, and no matter what one does, it cannot be ignored.

Likewise, "It's a Jungle Up There," is also enthralling. Her many scientific pursuits are entwined with her two boys' experiences in the field with her, into a wonderful and educational view of the world, its ecology and the workings of the world's ecosystems. For many single parents, Meg sets the stage as a fine example of "get up and go," and "leave no stone unturned." There appeared to be no obstacle that could not be overcome by personal persistence, with the end result of reaching the goal. Even small setbacks were used as stepping stones to move forward and to be used to a positive advantage.

Her chapters on canopy research, canopy walkways, encounters with internationals, and environmental ethics for families, educate the novice in this comparatively new research area. Providing her children with an always new and exciting way to experience life through nature is certainly an example parents and teachers should emulate.

The book is comfortable to read, has a glossary of terms and a selected bibliography for further reading on each chapter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Morgan on February 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great read. Written by a mom-scientist and her two sons, it offers a captivating look into some of the most interesting natural environments around the world-all viewed from the treetops. Armchair ecologists, parents, kids, teachers, and tree climbers interested in adventure, science, and/or world travel will thoroughly enjoy this book. It's the perfect follow-up to Life in the Treetops.

Many of the anecdotes are laugh-out-loud funny (like hiding "the possible" in Samoa) while others are extremely touching. The photographs and drawings make this book feel like a family album of the most extraordinary kind.

Although the author and her sons have spent much time high in the tree tops and in the stratosphere of world-famous scientists, they come across as extremely down-to-earth, likeable folks. Our kids especially enjoyed hearing what the author's sons have to say about their own experiences as well as their reflections on religion, their mom's career, and our imperiled environment. We all came away with a new respect for plant ecology and a greater love of science and scientists.
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