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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards)) Hardcover – July 17, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up-Moonbird is a nickname scientists have given to a small Eastern shorebird known for both his unusually long life and his enormously long annual migration. Hoose intertwines the story of this bird's remarkable survival with detailed accounts of the rufa red knot's physical changes through its yearlong cycle of migrating from the bottom of the world (usually Tierra del Fuego) to its Arctic breeding grounds and back again at summer's end-a round trip of some 18,000 miles. Moonbird, known usually by the identifying label "B95" on his orange leg band, was first banded in 1995, when it was thought that he was at least three years old, and Hoose notes sightings of him through early 2011 just as the book was reaching completion. At that point it was estimated that over 20 years' time, B95 had flown "more than 325,000 miles in his life-the distance to the moon and nearly halfway back." The feat is particularly celebrated among bird scientists because this species is rapidly declining as humans use and misuse its feeding grounds and food supply. The threatened state of the species and the personal work being done by scientists and conservationists are strong themes throughout the book. Hoose describes his own experiences participating in study trips and introduces children and teens engaged in study, conservation, and lobbying projects in Canada, the United States, and Argentina. This deeply researched, engaging account is a substantial and well-designed package of information illustrated with handsome color photographs, ample maps, appended descriptions of the conservation work, and thorough source notes.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Bostonα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“[A] deeply researched, engaging account…” ―School Library Journal, starred

“Putting an actual beaked face to the problem of animal endangerment makes the story of the species' peril all the more compelling, and only the truly hard of heart could resist cheering for B95 to make it through one more trip.” ―BCCB, Starred

“With an effective mix of facts and conjecture, Hoose conveys B95's wide experience, from the challenges of his first month in Arctic Canada 20 years ago to the physical demands of flying for three days straight. Hoose's vivid prose and the book's close-up photos give a sense of other red-knot talents, like fattening up for a long flight and sleeping while staying alert for predators. And there's recent good news: B95 was photographed in late May, feasting on horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay. ” ―The Washington Post

“Hoose's fascinating account concerns much more than this one bird.” ―Horn Book, starred

“...beautiful and vivid…” ―VOYA

“Hoose's stature as a preeminent nonfiction author combined with the high-interest animal hook will generate hearty attention and enthusiasm for this one.” ―Booklist, starred

“Readers will appreciate Hoose's thorough approach in contextualizing this amazing, itinerant creature…” ―Publishers Weekly, starred

“Meticulously researched and told with inspiring prose and stirring images, this is a gripping, triumphant story of science and survival. ” ―Kirkus, starred

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 1150L (What's this?)
  • Series: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374304688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374304683
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Anne Salazar on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This great book has it all: travel, history, science, a mystery, romance, photos, maps -- you name it, this brief book has it. I loved the story of B95, an apparently very determined rufa red knot with the very best athletic genes. I had never before heard of this small shorebird so it was great fun to read and learn and cheer him on in his amazing travels. He has certainly captured the hearts of the scientists who study him, as he has mine and probably the hearts and best wishes of everyone who reads about him and his determination to fly from pole to pole -- 18,000 miles! -- each and every year for food and light and mating.

This book represents the best in American education and should be widely read and studied. Since WE have so brazenly damaged so much of the environment, adversely affecting not only ourselves but most other animal and plant life, we must make it right. We have to rectify these many problems to the best of our ability since we are our best hope for all species of life in this world, and this book gently shows us the way and makes us care.
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Format: Hardcover
I will never look at , a small bird of any species without wondering what it's story is. Through Hoose's amazing talent of making wildlife come alive,and personal, my eyes have been opened to an entirely new world.... thank you Phillip you are making a difference. Catherine
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who enjoys spending time out of doors observing the wonders of nature will want to read this book. Whether you have never heard of a red knot before, or are already familiar with the plight of the red knot rufa sub-species, this book leave you hoping and praying for the survival of these amazing shorebirds.

"Moonbird" tells the remarkable story of B95, a red knot who survives against all odds. Mr. Hoose's factual account of the challenges facing the red knot combined with his beautiful prose make this book an educational and engaging read. The profiles of those who are working tirelessly to save the species are truly inspiring. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who cares about the fate of the creatures who share our planet.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Appears to be sadly underrated, this informational book ... yet presents such a welcome addition to private collections in homes where some still awe struck boys and girls dwell who are thirsting for knowledge ... with parents and aunties and minders and friends whose aim is to tend the garden of the young ones for them one day to become the well-rounded, even shining stars, of future generations... Packed with scientific notations but packaged everso lightly....
Consider purchasing a copy be it for a present or for keeps. A fairly easy read that can be shared and one that will generate conversation ... Darling illustrations comingled with maps and such....
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this book about an amazing individual Red Knot (shorebird) and its semi-annual arctic-antarctic migrations. Interesting for both adults and children (I've got family members ages 8, 17, 50, and 80+ who were riveted to the book). Apart from explaining the story of the capturing, banding and recapturing (multiple times) of this particular individual nicknamed "Moonbird", it also includes (mostly in sidebars or boxes) lots of interesting facts about migration, shorebirds, scientific studies and methods, etc. Plenty of nice pictures and very well-written. Good for anyone interested in science and the natural world.
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By JBH on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a story about a magnificent (and unbelievable) bird. Beautifully written and extensively researched. I think anyone who would read it would have a sense of the wonder of our universe, the magic of "where did all this come from ?"

Read it,it's exciting!

Jean Herbert
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Format: MP3 CD
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose is not just your ordinary nonfiction book. It’s not even your average book about birds or endangered animals. Rather it’s on multiple lists of the best books of 2012, which is where I first encountered it. Moonbird is also the recipient of The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor, which is why I first decided to read it. It has even won several awards for best science book.

Hoose focuses on an individual bird: B95, a red knot who is also known as Moonbird. Moonbird first gained the attention of scientists in 1995. At the time, the bird was just one of over 850 red knots to be banded in Tierra del Fuego in South America as part of research into migratory routes. Records show that Moonbird had adult plumage, which means he was at least three years old. Six years later, in 2001, one of the birds from that banding was snared again, just miles from where he had been originally caught. The inscription on his band read B95, so labeled to represent the series (out of A and B) and the number from the first banding expedition. When he turned up again at Tierra del Fuego in 2003, the entire rufa subspecies of red knots were plunging towards extinction, which made Moonbird more than an extraordinary pilot who could find his way back to migratory routes year after year. It also made him a survivor.

The choice on Hoose’s part to focus on an individual bird was deliberate. Hoose had previously written a book about the ivory-billed woodpecker. A fellow conservationist knew Hoose was looking for another bird species to write about; in particular, Hoose wanted one that was in danger of becoming extinct but for which there was still hope.
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