Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Plant Hunters

The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
By Anita Silvey
Published 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Tropical illness, dangerous terrain, deadly animals - all the sorts of obstacles you might expect Indiana Jones to encounter. But the people in this book are adventurers of a different kind: they are on quests to discover and bring back plants. Yes, plants. Why would they risk their lives for such a seemingly ordinary thing? Find out!

This was among a bunch of advance reader's copies hanging out at my place of employment and it immediately caught my eye. For some reason, I find myself really drawn to children's non-fiction books lately and this, with its very appealing cover (even on the galley!), was no exception. However, I find it a bit difficult to do a proper review of this book, simply because of the way I read it. I didn't sit down and digest it all at once - I read it in occasional chunks over the course of a couple months. So, I find it difficult to remember much about the book. Still, I think it's great if for nothing else than that it introduces kids to an exciting new kind of adventurer, one who works in the name of science (well, also in the name of fame and glory, but mostly science...maybe). I had never heard of plant hunters before picking up this book and I was delighted to discover how much I didn't know (which sounds a bit strange, I know). This book is full of real photographs and artifacts from the hunters themselves and is told in an exciting, action-packed way. I think any kid that finds this book is sure to enjoy it.

Thanks to the publisher for providing one of my colleagues with an advance reader's copy.

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