Monday, June 4, 2018

NONFICTION MONDAY: Amazon Adventure by Sy Montgomery


Considered the “lungs of the world,” the Amazon provides a full fifth of the world’s oxygen, and every year unsustainable human practices destroy 2.7 million acres. What can be done to help? That’s where Project Piaba comes in.

Join the award-winning author Sy Montgomery and the photographer Keith Ellenbogen as they traverse the river and rainforest to discover how tiny fish, called piabas, can help preserve the Amazon, its animals, and the rich legacy of its people. Amazon Adventure is an eye-opening—and ultimately hopeful—exploration of how humanity’s practices are affecting and shaping not only the Amazon, but our entire environment.


The author and photograph set off on a trip to the Amazon in this book to document the efforts of a group of scientists to help save the Amazon rain forest.  Project Piaba focuses on the collection of a variety of tiny fish found in the Rio Negro, one of the Amazon's tributaries.  The local people collect the fish, that would normally die during the dry season, and sell them to the aquarium market.  But fish farming and conservation efforts are threatening this environmentally sustaining lifestyle which might force more people into destroying the forest in order to support themselves and their families.  The scientists are there to check the health of the ecosystem and to come up with ways to help the native piebeiros (those who hunt the tiny fish).  While the scientists (and the author and photographer) are there they experience the local celebration revolving around these fish.  The result is a fascinating account of science in action and the importance of involving native peoples in saving ecosystems.  Cultural traditions also shine through in story in beautiful photographs and an account of a local tradition that revolves around the Amazon ecosystem.  Books in the Scientists in the Field series are important in helping young readers understand how people are making a difference in the world.

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