Darby CreekPage Count
9 3/8" x 11"
Level: 7, Points: 2Scholastic Reading Counts
Level: 7.6, Points: 6Lexile
Level: 1030LAwards & Honors
Booklist Editor 's Choice 2007Genre
Sneed B. Collard III says, "I still find it surprising that I did not grow up dreaming of becoming a writer. As a youth in Santa Barbara, California, my interests centered much more on sports, coin collecting, and --more than anything --the natural world. The latter was the great gift of my parents, professional biologists.
"My parents, though, also provided me with another great gift, the love of reading. Every summer, while my father worked in his lab, or taught university classes, I spent long days in the library, devouring book after book.
"When I entered the University of California at Berkeley, I studied marine biology. Afterward, with biology jobs few and far between, my earlier literary influences caught up with me. I decided to become a writer. From then on, my loves of science and literature have become inseparable.
"I strongly believe that nonfiction has every bit the literary merit that fiction does. One of my goals is to create nonfiction books that educators can use not only to teach science but to teach reading and writing as well. "
Mr. Collard was born in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to his BA in marine biology, he has also earned an MS in scientific instrumentation at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He says, "Probably the most dominant force in my life, besides writing, is travel. I 've had the travel bug ever since joining my biologist stepfather on a firefly-hunting excursion to southeast Asia when I was fifteen. Ever since, I 've taken every opportunity to travel. I even skipped my high school graduation to begin a year-long solo odyssey to the Middle East and Europe. Since then, I 've also been fortunate enough to visit Australia, Central America, New Zealand, and the deep-sea floor. "
Mr. Collard has written more than fifty books for young people. His previous JLG selections include Beaks!, illustrated by Robin Brickman, The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America 's Lost Grasslands, and A Platypus, Probably, illustrated by Andrew Plant. He lives in Missoula, Montana.
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