Cover image for The bug scientists
The bug scientists
Kallner, Donna Jackson, 1958-
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm.
Bug scientists, called entomologists, present information on insects and explain how they use that information in their work.
Reading Level:
1200 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.8 1.0 58900.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 7.7 4 Quiz: 33304 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL467.2 .K34 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Small is beautiful--or so the bug scientists of the world believe. Insects, they say, boast qualities the rest of us have perhaps overlooked. They are among the earth's best fliers and farmers. They have survived and adapted for 350 million years, whereas we humans have been around for a mere 10,000 years. There are millions upon millions of species yet to be identified. Indeed, insects are perhaps nature's least celebrated but most successful creatures on earth.
By following the footsteps of several bug scientists, we take a closer look at the extraordinary bugs that crawl, swim, and whiz past us. We visit the morgue, drop by an outdoor classroom, witness a bug bowl festival--complete with a cricket-spitting contest (yuck!)--and travel to the rain forests of Costa Rica--all in pursuit of a better understanding of bugs, glorious bugs.

Author Notes

Donna M. Jackson received a master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of nonfiction books for young readers including In Your Face, Extreme Scientists, Elephant Scientist, and Every Body's Talking: What We Say without Words.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. Innovative ant farmers; crime-solving bugs; tasty crickets (Chocolate Chirpy Chip Cookies, anyone?). The much-maligned world of insects becomes fascinating in this latest entry in the excellent Scientists in the Field series. The text is organized into profiles of entomologists, each representing a unique angle of the profession: a college professor who sparks student interest with cockroach races; a scientist who uses bugs to help police solve crimes; a Hollywood "Bug Director"; and so on. In between discussion of what each job entails, the highly readable text weaves in plenty of science--everything from insect characteristics to species behavior--always emphasizing how bugs benefit humans. With its crisp photos and lively story angles and language, this is sure to attract young readers, and a chapter profiling a fifth-grader monarch conservationist will convince insect enthusiasts that they don't need a master's degree to participate in the field. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Jackson introduces four people with an interest in and knowledge of insects. Tom Turpin, a professor with a mission to make everyone interested in his field, feeds his students insect-based goodies and runs a yearly Bug Bowl in which contestants compete at cricket spitting and other contests. Valerie Cervenka, a forensic entomologist, gives essential information to crime investigators such as the time of death of a murder victim based on the insect infestation of the body. Steven Kutcher provides insect actors for Hollywood films, while Ted Schultz travels to rain forests to study farmer ants. Jackson also introduces the Monarch Watch program and some of the children and scientists who participate in it. Many well-reproduced color photographs add to the book's appeal. The author weaves in much information about the insects, devoting fully half of the text to them, including an "Amazing Insects" list of superlatives in the end, most of the glossary ("Buzz Words"), and bibliography ("Gone Buggy?"). While this is fascinating material covered in a lively manner, it does tend to take focus away from the scientists. There are many insect books and too few books about scientists and what they do for this audience. Nevertheless, this welcome successor to Jackson's The Bone Detectives (Little, Brown, 1996) and The Wildlife Detectives (Houghton, 2000) is sure to be popular with teachers and children alike and it may inspire many young readers to seek careers in entomology.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Tom Turpin (Professor)Valerie CervenkaTed Schultz
Insect Ambassadorp. 6
Bug bits: Monarch Butterfly Watchp. 18
Crime-Fighting Insect Investigatorp. 22
Bug bits: Hollywood Bug Directorp. 32
The Old MacDonald of the Ant Worldp. 34
Bug bits: Amazing Insectsp. 44
Buzz Wordsp. 46
Gone Buggy?p. 47
Indexp. 48