HomeBooks by SubjectActivity BooksEvolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment, by Carla Mooney | Book Review

Evolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment, by Carla Mooney | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review | July 13, 2018

Evolution- How Life Adapts to A Changing EnvironmentEvolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment

Written by Carla Mooney

Illustrated by Alexis Cornell

Paperback: 122 pages

Age Range: 9-12

Publisher: Nomad Press (2017)

ISBN: 978-1-61930-601-1

What to Expect: Nature, Animals, Facts and Activities.

The theory of evolution lies at the heart of much of what we know about ourselves, our species, our planet, and the other forms of life we share it with.  An understanding of evolutionary theory is critical for building an appreciation for environmental justice as well: “although evolution is the story of our past, it also helps us to understand our future and how we continue to evolve” (p. 2).  This volume, which introduces young readers to the complexities of evolutionary theory through dynamic, hands-on activities, not only fosters understanding of natural science, but also helps students build the skills needed for scientific practice and the mind-sets required for rigorous scientific thought.

Evolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment covers a wealth of different topics, from what DNA is and how it functions (p. 3), to genetic drift (p. 17), speciation (p. 25), Linnaean and phylogenetic classification (p. 44), and even the evidence for evolutionary theory (p. 60).  These extremely complex concepts are made accessible through the use of key vocabulary, critical thinking questions, instructive diagrams and illustrations, and a clever use of text and text boxes to break down information into meaningful “chunks” and key ideas.  The most important feature of this collection, however, are the carefully designed activities which help students to test key ideas (using classmates and a bowl of candy to replicate natural selection), develop synthesis and analysis skills (can  they design their own classification system), and understand processes (replicating the creation of a fossil).  Whether this volume is used in a classroom or at home, it is bound to be both instructive and enjoyable.

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About the Author

Carla Mooney has written more than 70 books for children and young adults. She is the author of several books for Nomad Press, including Comparative Religion: Investigate the World through Religious Tradition, The Brain: Journey through the Universe inside Your Head, Forensics: Uncover the Science and Technology of Crime Scene Investigation; Genetics: Breaking the Code of Your DNA; Rocketry: Investigate the Science and Technology of Rockets and Ballistics. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Alexis Cornell is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies. She has illustrated several books for Nomad Press, including Bioengineering: Discover How Nature Inspires Human Designs and Cells: Experience Life at Its Tiniest. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Evolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment, by Carla Mooney, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Evolution: How Life Adapts to A Changing Environment by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with , and .

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Dr. Jen Harrison currently teaches writing and literature at East Stroudsburg University. She also provides freelance writing, editing, and tuition services as the founder of Read.Write.Perfect. She completed her Ph.D. in Children’s and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools. She is an editor for the peer-reviewed journal of children’s literature, Jeunesse, and publishes academic work on children’s non-fiction, YA speculative fiction, and the posthuman.

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