Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It
Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It

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Annotation: This photo essay looks at the hardwood tree-killing Asian longhorned beetle, and examines the efforts to combat it.
Genre: Biology
Catalog Number: #158787
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: STEAM STEAM Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Harasimowicz, Ellen,
Pages: 64 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-328-89572-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0908-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-328-89572-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0908-8
Dewey: 595.76
LCCN: 2013050160
Dimensions: 23 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens "the entire northeastern hardwood forest." In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists and residents hypothesize that destroying all of Worcester's infected trees--i.e., the ALB habitat--will eradicate the beetle. Clear photographs, charts, diagrams, and a straightforward text outline the problem, from the beetle's invasion to the trees' destruction and replanting. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 59 They arrived unseen, burrowed in wooden pallets, spools, and crates, aboard ships from China. The first group spotted in the United States, in Brooklyn, NY, was contained, and quickly taken care of, but since then infestations have been discovered from Massachusetts to Illinois, and as far north as Canada. They're Asian longhorned beetles, pests with "powerful jaws and a taste for wood" and the frightening potential to eat their way through North American forests. Griffin takes readers alongside a team of dedicated scientists and citizen volunteers working to eradicate this invasive species in a quarantined area in Worchester County, MA. Along the way, she explains how the creatures can go undetected for years (their life cycle begins inside trees, which keeps them heavily camouflaged) and offers information that early studies on the creature have yieldednot all of it hopeful. Abundant, close-up, color photos of the insect (from egg to pupa to mature adult), damaged trees, onsite workers, and informative labeled diagrams and maps help tell this disquieting story. Burns questions the approach of the scientists she followed and both admires and "trusts." But for her, the story is also personal. The author lives within the quarantined area in Massachusetts and has seen firsthand areas where swatches of infested (and other) trees have been cut down. Her questions about the method employed will leave readers asking some of their ownas they should. A timely, well-told story and a call to action. Daryl Grabarek , School Library Journal
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* When Asian long-horned beetles (ALBs), tree-destroying insects native to China, were discovered in Worcester, Massachusetts, the reaction was swift. Officials dealt with the threat by removing potential host trees as well as those with signs of ALBs. This technique had been successful in previous infestations in urban areas. But Worcester borders a natural forest. As one of the project's scientists pointed out, "What do we have to lose? . . . The entire northeastern hardwood forest." This absorbing book opens with a boy, a member of his school's biodiversity club, discovering that someone has cut down trees in a part of the woods that he knows well. Backing up to discuss the ALB, its effects on certain trees, and its incursions into North America, the text follows the efforts of scientists and residents to stop the beetles' progress, while observing and learning about the insect. Crisp color photos show scenes as varied as the ALB life cycle, sawyers at work in a Worcester park, and volunteers replanting thousands of trees. Created for the Scientists in the Field series by the writer and the illustrator of The Hive Detectives (2010) and Citizen Scientists (2012), this fascinating, timely book might just change the way readers look at insects and trees for good.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 61) and index.
Word Count: 10,678
Reading Level: 7.3
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.3 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 169508 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:9.4 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q64667
Lexile: NC1100L

A fascinating nonfiction photo essay about the tree-killing Asian long-horned beetle living in our very own backyards. The Asian longhorned beetle came to America from China, living in wood turned into shipping material. At first the beetles invaded urban areas, where hardwood trees were in limited supply--but now there is bad news in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Ontario. Infestations have erupted in hardwood forests, and these beetles are very good at killing trees. Clint McFarland's job? Stop the ALB at any cost. How do you balance the needs of residents, the environment, and an invasive species primed to wipe out entire forests? It takes the help of everyday people, bug scientists, and tree doctors to eradicate this invasive pest.

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