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Pythons, Rats, and Toads—Oh My!

In our contemporary world, people are traveling more than ever before. Sometimes they bring species along with them—intentionally or by accident—and these non-native species become introduced to new environments. Some become invasive and harm, take over, or change native ecosystems. The high-interest Invasive Species series, reviewed by Booklist, explores invasive species of all kinds, including mussels, fish, mosquitoes, weeds, toads, rats, and even pythons. 

Every book takes a look at these species in their native habitats, tracks how humans helped them spread, and examines the threats they pose. In Burmese Pythons, for example, readers learn about how a global pet trade led to the escape of pythons into the Florida Everglades. Meanwhile, Tiger Mosquitoes explores how the mosquitoes’ spread has led to serious outbreaks of disease. Finally, these books discuss the many strategies people have to manage the invasive species. For instance, Cane Toads discusses a wide range of techniques, from “toad-busting” in Australian towns to feeding cane-toad sausages to native lizards to promote taste aversion. Ecological and biological concepts are explain in clear, accessible language throughout. And lesson plans help teachers promote further learning. 

A “That’s Amazing” special feature highlights a particularly fascinating trait of each invasive species, and infographics help readers visualize important concepts and data. Suited for grades 4–7, Invasive Species is aligned with National Science Education Standards (NSES) standards C, D, E, and F.

The series uses the attention-grabbing topic of invasive species to explore STEM concepts in a clear and engaging way.

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