Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. May 2022. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063069497.
Gr 7-10–Schrefer’s book is about animal sex, but specifically homosexual behavior in certain animals. Chapters include species examples, such as dolphins and doodlebugs, that detail what and how this information was learned. In addition, chapters begin with a humorous comic, have illustrations sprinkled into the narrative, and deliver interviews Schrefer conducted with real-life scientists, many of whom identify as LGBTQIA+. Formally organized by the animal case study, the additional interviews and illustrations create breaks in the information that might disrupt the overall flow; however, they provide insight into the science of sex that’s more than procreation, a funny interruption to deeper content, and personal connection to researchers in the field. Format aside, the research is fascinating and opens another avenue for career exploration for younger readers. Plus, the facts are noteworthy and shareable—just the kind that the intended audience devours. The book’s celebration of the human-animal connection offers positivity about how natural queer behavior is opens another entry point to acceptance and understanding. Schrefer blends emotion and logic with a plethora of vocabulary by describing scientific, anthropological, and behavior studies.
VERDICT A nonfiction book that richly mines scientific facts, this can be read in one sitting or researched as individual chapters for ultimate flexibility.

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