The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World

Philomel. Apr. 2021. 208p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593115558.
Gr 3-7–Grandin (b. 1947) is a renowned American scientist and one of the most well-known public figures with autism. Her assured narrative voice is clear as she shares her childhood stories. She connects with her audience in a personal and fascinating style while detailing her early scientific observations about the natural world. Grandin says what she observed sparked questions and investigation, which is at the heart of all science. She encourages readers to explore the outdoors, just as other well-known (Carl Sagan, Jacques Cousteau, and Stephen Hawking) and lesser-known scientists did when they were children. The book combines memoir, biography, informational text, and engaging projects. This text will especially appeal to those who are deeply interested in nature, but it will also motivate children to explore outside their homes and observe. Following the introduction, the chapters cover “Rocks,” “The Beach,” “The Woods,” “Birds,” “The Night Skies,” and “Animal Behavior.” Back matter includes an extensive bibliography, articles by the author, citizen science sources for science teachers, and acknowledgments. An index is not included.
VERDICT Grandin’s words are a rallying cry for budding scientists and she serves as a role model for young readers with autism. This is an important STEM and STREAM resource for every collection.

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