The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery

56p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. maps. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Mar. 2018. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781512452501.
Gr 3–7—Hirsch introduces the mysteries of monarch butterfly migration while encouraging readers to get involved to halt the butterfly's population decline. The author recounts how scientists developed tagging methods to track the path of eastern monarchs and to identify their wintering grounds in Mexico. After explaining the generational life cycles required to complete the yearly migratory journey, she devotes much of the book to hypotheses about why their numbers have dropped dramatically. Among them are reduced forests in Mexico, declines in milkweed and other wildflowers along flight paths, climate change, and displacement of native milkweed by tropical species, pesticides, and herbicides. She explains how citizen scientists, including children, can participate in studies and create monarch habitats to aid butterfly survival. The included suggested books and websites reinforce the recommendations. Hirsch packs a lot of information into this volume. Her clear, conversational presentation differs from the texts in two of her previous books about monarchs (Monarch Butterfly Migration and Monarch Butterflies: A Generational Journey). Older readers, including adults, who want additional information and activity suggestions for home or classrooms might consult Kylee Baumle's The Monarch.
VERDICT A fine choice for most public and school library collections, particularly those that promote active engagement with the natural world by citizen scientists of all ages.

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