Duet: Our Journey in Song with the Northern Mockingbird

Farrar. Sept. 2022. 160p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780374388775.
Gr 9 Up–A duet is a piece for two voices, and award-winning author Hoose provides a new perspective into an amazing bird and its place in American cultural history. Revered in Native American folk tales for its seemingly unending supply of songs, the Northern mockingbird likewise enchanted American settlers. But its unique ability to replicate other bird songs and sing fragments of those songs for hours on end, day and night, brought it close to extirpation. Its singing became so popular that it was hunted, caged, and sold to fill households with song. President Thomas Jefferson even had one in his White House office. Despite the overhunting and loss of habitat as farms and towns replaced its native woodlands, the popular mockingbird thrived. Full-color photographs of the mockingbird in action and reproductions of early illustrations, even the sheet music that celebrated the mockingbird, amplify the engaging narrative. Tips on respecting the environmental needs of birds to help ensure their survival are included. Index not seen.
VERDICT A delight to read. Recommend for all libraries for a fresh look at the impact on native species of the settlement of America.

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