Lucy's Journal. February 15th, 1002 PC (Post Coconut): We left New Coleopolis this morning with no fanfare. Leading the first mission to seek out life beyond our oasis should have been the greatest moment of my scientific carrer. Instead we shuffled out of town like wriaths through the morning mists. It's just as well, though since most of our colleagues are convinced we will fail.
Jay Hosler is the amazing biologist/graphic novelist whose first work, Clan Apis, follows two worker bees that are part of a colony. In Last of the SandWalkers, Hosler here gives us a much fuller story of several beetles who leave their safe home and go out into the desert on a voyage of discovery. Lucy is the plucky leader. Professor Bombadier is her resourceful mentor, Raef is a robotic firefly, And Mossy is a relatively huge horned beetle. Along with them is treacherous Professor Owen. As they journey on what turns out to be an epic adventure, the reader learns a great deal about entomology in general and beetles in particular -- including about trap-door spiders, whirligig beetles, and what it is like to get caught in amber. Not that the learning gets in the way of the story -- which has enough twists and turns and moments of danger to easily keep students' attention.
Why should I read this book?
The images and panel movement draw the reader naturally into the story. The art serves the story so well that it is easy not to notice how really accomplished the black and white drawing is.
Who is this book best for?
This book is probably best for middle school and up and could be valuable for middle school and high school science and biology classes -- both as a classroom text to consider ecosystems and adaptation, but also as a supplementary book for kids who love to read.
Challenge Rating: No Challenge
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