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Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds (Scientists in the Field Series) Paperback – July 24, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. This fascinating title shows the thrill of scientific discovery up close. Sayre profiles three bioacousticians--scientists who study the sounds made by living things, communication that is often outside the range of human hearing. Each extensive chapter follows the scientist into the field: the ocean, where Christopher Clark studies whales; the rain forest of the Central African Republic, where Katy Payne studies elephants; and throughout the U.S., where Bill Evans studies birds in migration. Sayre's text explains scientific concepts in simple, engaging language, and she gives plenty of detail about work conditions, equipment and research techniques, and what it takes to enter the field. Sayre also shows how the scientists' work contributes not only to a better understanding of the animals but also to conservation and protection of the species. Lots of well-edited quotes from the scientists convey their contagious enthusiasm for what they do, and sharp color photos, sound charts, and activity boxes break up the text, making it even more readable. Like Ellen Jackson's Looking for Life in the Universe, reviewed on p.684, this book is part of the consistently excellent Scientists in the Field series; it provides readers with an inspiring introduction to a little-discussed field and to biology in general. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


This fascinating title shows the thrill of scientific discovery up close…Part of the consistently excellent Scientists in the Field series; it provides readers with an inspiring introduction to a little–discussed field and to biology in general.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"The Scientists in the Field series continues to fulfill its promise." Kirkus Reviews

"Each of the profiles is filled with absorbing scientific information while also providing insights into the personalities involved in this work--adventurers who work in interesting field locales, sometimes with limited funding, to do what they love." Horn Book

“Sayre offers good descriptions of work with the various species and its import…” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1060L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061858546X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618585465
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,679,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Carolyn Marsden on October 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
April Pulley Sayre's Secrets of Sound is an invaluable resource for teachers. It is packed with information yet engagingly written. Not only does the book provide a fresh look at whales, elephants, and migratory birds, but also at the scientists who study these creatures. This behind-the-scenes peek into the lifestyles of these scientists may motivate children to explore a scientific career. At the end of each section, Sayre brings out the conservation effots of the featured scientist. This book on bioacoustics supports curriculum standards which require children to understand the physics of sound. Fine photos bring the text to life.
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