Unseen Jungle: The Microbes That Secretly Control Our World

MIT Kids Pr. (Your Hidden Life). Oct. 2023. 176p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781536232868.
Gr 4 Up–Everything you ever did, and didn’t, want to know about microbes! Broken down into four sections—house, yard, food, and you—this title explores the microbes that are living on us, in us, and all around us. Rice writes in a fun and humorous tone while discussing all the wonderful, and sometimes insidious, things microbes do. For example, a tiny wasp lays her eggs inside a ladybug and once it hatches, the baby wasp eats the inside of the ladybug and uses its shell to protect itself. Colorful cartoon illustrations are interspersed throughout the text alongside interviews with experts in various fields. Students will find this title engaging and easy to understand. While science can often be complicated, Rice expertly simplifies this topic for young readers. Bolded words are defined in the text and almost all microbe names have a phonetic spelling. Further reading and activities are included in the last chapter for students who want to know more information. A thorough bibliography is also included.
VERDICT Fascinating. Recommended for all elementary and middle school collections.

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