The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow

By: Jan Thornhill

Behold the most despised bird in human history! Map. Life cycle of the house sparrow. Glossary. List of other animals that have adapted to humans. Resources. Selected references. Full-color illustrations were created digitally.

ISBN: 9781773060064

JLG Release: May 2018


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: House sparrows , Introduced birds , Invasive species , Animal behaviors and characteristics , Animal adaptation

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Awards & Honors

CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Science, Technology, and the Natural World
Booklist Editors’ Choice: Books for Youth - 2018
NYPL Best Books for Kids - 2018
School Library Journal Best Books - 2018
Nonfiction Detectives Best Nonfiction - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Thornhill returns to questions on adaptation, conservation, and extinction, all raised in her 2016 award-winning title The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, but here posed in a different light—one of triumph. The narrative pieces together the House Sparrow’s long history, from around 12,000 years ago to th
[STARRED REVIEW]
Thornhill returns to questions on adaptation, conservation, and extinction, all raised in her 2016 award-winning title The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, but here posed in a different light—one of triumph. The narrative pieces together the House Sparrow’s long history, from around 12,000 years ago to the present day, to better understand how a creature so reviled still managed to adapt and survive in great numbers. Thornhill’s precision in describing how the petite bird could be ruthlessly exterminated by people and, at the same time, be adored by them, her careful prodding of the dissonance between these two realities, is truly absorbing. What emerges is a complex, dark comedy of human behavior and a tenacious avian species, one with very real—and, as Thornhill argues, often ignored—consequences. Regarding their decline in North America, Thornhill asks: “What if the culprit is something that is as unhealthy for humans as it is for the House Sparrow?“ The message is subtle but clear: our fates are intertwined. Thornhill’s masterly digital art invites repeated viewing. There is death (and a bit of gore) as well as quiet, almost tender scenes, such as a small flock eating alongside cows on a train. The palette of rich greens, reds, and browns affirm the theme of vitality—and a story not yet finished. VERDICT An exceptional selection for nonfiction collections; use it to deepen discussions on the relationship among humans, animals, and the environment.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal

Book Details

ISBN

9781773060064

First Release

May 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

598.8/87

Trim Size

Page Count

44

Accelerated Reader

Level 6.1; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level 1010L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Groundwood

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

House sparrows, Introduced birds, Invasive species, Animal behaviors and characteristics, Animal adaptation,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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