Turner, Pamela S. 2009. THE FROG SCIENTIST. Photos by Andy Comins. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780618717163 [Suggested Grade Levels 6- 12]
Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a field research biologist, studies the effect of pesticides on frogs in this research based, well photographed nonfiction book for the secondary level. A Harvard educated scientist, Hayes’ work on the pesticide atrazine is well-explained by Turner, who emphasizes Hayes’ use of the scientific method and documentation of his research to link pesticides with frog deformities.
Large, bright photographs show Hayes, his students, and the frogs as they work in the field and lab. Hayes, an African American scientist, is a role model for children of all backgrounds who may be interested in science. His graduate students reflect the diverse make-up of our country and the photos include them as they work with Hayes.
The role of the frog as a monitor for the health of our environment and the subsequent effects of environmental pollution lure the reader into the book as well. While being a frog science might not appeal to everyone at first glance, this book provides an in-depth look at a real scientist at work in a real world situation that has the potential to affect us all.
Dr. Hayes makes an excellent subject of study during Black History Month by connecting the study of science and the environment with reading about African American leaders. Identify and research other field biologists and their work. Find out and share how they set up their experiments.
Other books for children about scientific investigations:
Fortey, Jacqueline. GREAT SCIENTISTS. ISBN 9780756629748
Montgomery, Sy. THE SNAKE SCIENTIST. ISBN 9780618111190
Swinburne, Stephen. ONCE A WOLF: HOW WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS FOUGHT TO BRING BACK THE GRAY WOLF. ISBN 9780618111206