Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard

Citizen Scientists was nominated for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

Citizen Scientists may be the perfect book for some of those students who would rather be outside than anywhere else. This book takes a look at how kids can “be a part of scientific discovery from your own backyard.” It presents the concept of citizen science in a way that most young readers and budding scientists will appreciate. It may even provide a starting point for some fairly intense science projects.

Loree Griffin Burns’ narrative, paired with Ellen Harasimowicz’s beautifully detailed photographs, engages young readers and invites them to participate in nature studies without leaving their own backyards. Four types of studies are highlighted: fall butterflying, winter birding, spring frogging, and summer ladybugging. The author states that the experiences in each of these studies may vary from region to region. Additional resources and anecdotes are provided for each study for readers who wish to explore the topic further.

At the back of the book, in addition to a bibliography, glossary, and index, the author also provides information on finding resources for other citizen science projects. Most of them involve animal and plant studies.

Citizen Scientists is a welcome addition to my library’s nonfiction collection, and I will recommend it to my 3rd-5th grade teachers when they begin studying plants, animals, and nature. Young readers who show a keen interest in science, particularly in conducting their own experiments, will love this book.

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