The Puffin Plan is a timely story for this year and the future. It begins with a boy’s (Co-author Stephen W. Kress) passion for the outdoors, which then leads to a successful 7th grade science fair project. It very well could have ended there but thankfully Mr. Kress has spent his life researching seabirds, specifically the unique looking puffin.
Here’s the Synopsis from TUMBLEHOME books:
Fifty years ago, a young ornithologist named Steve Kress fell in love with puffins. After learning that hunting had eradicated their colonies on small, rocky islands off the coast of Maine, he resolved to bring them back. So began a decades-long quest that involved collecting chicks in Canada, flying them to Maine, raising them in coffee-can nests, transporting them to their new island home, watching over them as they grew, and then waiting—for years—to see if they would come back. This is the story of how the Puffin Project reclaimed a piece of our rich biological heritage, and how it inspired other groups around the world to help other species re-root in their native lands.
Back when he began this journey there were still large colonies of the puffins in places like Ireland. One might ask why bother when these birds weren’t extinct? The answers are a compelling read that not only prove you could reestablish homes for the puffin, but also led to other animals being saved using the same techniques.
What is even more forthcoming and bold, is the clear description of how the ecosystem works. When humans destroy a habitat or specie the effects are damaging and long ranging. Yes, we are making a mess of our planet, but it’s not tool late to turn things around. Our young people are taking charge.
The book ends with reflections from teen visitors to the puffin site. If the world has any chance of sustaining life in the future we are in pretty good hands.
The 12 chapters are filled with photos and maps. Perfect for ages 12 and up, THE PUFFIN PLAN is my favorite non-fiction read so far this year and my Cybils nominee.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Stephen W. Kress is a world renowned ornithologist. He is the founder of Project Puffin and retired Vice President of Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. He is a Visiting Fellow of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Derrick Z. Jackson is an award-winning former columnist of the Boston Globe. An accomplished photographer, his column was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and his UCS blog won a 2018 prize from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration: