HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Piranhas: Remarkable Animals
Author: Susan M. Grossman
Publisher: Silver Burdett Press, republished in 1996
ISBN-13: 978-0875185934 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0875185932 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0382394829 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0382394828 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Grossman, Susan M. Piranhas: Remarkable Animals (published in1994 by Dillon Press). With its strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth, the carnivorous piranha is considered pretty intimidating. But is this fish, which lives in the fresh waters of South America, really as scary as it seems? When our boys were young, we checked this book, one of the “Remarkable Animals” series, out of the library to accompany their elementary homeschool science studies on fish. It describes the physical characteristics, habitat, and life cycle of piranhas, and explains that their scary reputation may be exaggerated, dispelling the negative image of this much-feared fish by explaining how useful piranhas are to the fishing industry and how relatively harmless they are to humans. (I still would not want to jump into the river with them!)
Other books in Dillon’s “Remarkable Animal” series include The Galapagos Tortoise by Susan Schafer (1994), The Manatee by Jean H. Sibbald (1996), Those Amazing Eels by Cheryl M. Halton (1990), Vulture by Susan Schafer (1995), and The Orangutan by Ruth Ashby (1994) which discusses the international conservation efforts being undertaken to save this endangered species. These books have good quality full-color photos and maps; cover the physical characteristics, life cycles, breeding habits, and daily lives of their subjects in the wild; and provide ample information for reports. They also contain a short list of resources for further reading and addresses of environmental organizations.