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Looking for Miza chosen as one of 10 science books for summer reading by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Monday, June 29 2009

AAAS: 10 science books to help your kids avoid summer brain drain

Ahh, summer. Warm breezes, cool ice cream, the gentle whine of mosquitoes. And, the not so gentle whine of bored, out-of-school children.

In time for summer vacation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released a summer reading list of 10 science books for children ages 10-14, or grades 4-8. Heather Malcomson, editor of AAAS's Science Books & Films magazine (, composed the list based on her experience reviewing science books for the magazine.

"If you are trying to keep your kids' minds from turning to mush this summer, bring home a few science books from the library," Malcomson said. "A good science book will certainly capture children's interest with true life stories and interesting photographs."

The books include stories on bioluminescent creatures, excavations from colonial-era settlements, and women who trained for space flight. Malcomson's list also includes activity books, such as a bird watching guide and a book containing tips on how to be "green."

"With real-world applications and hands-on activities, science books can interest all kids, even those who are not avid readers," Malcomson said.

The science books are available through online book vendors, including, and most of them cost less than $20.

"Looking for Miza: The True Story of the Mountain Gorilla Family Who Rescued One of Their Own," by Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Paula Kahumbu; illustrated by Peter Greste. Scholastic, 2008. 30pp. $16.99

This book is a true story of a baby mountain gorilla who was lost in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. The story is told from the point of view of Innocent Mburanumwe and Diddy Mwanaki, two Congolese rangers who have dedicated their lives to protecting the 380 mountain gorillas in that park. Mountain gorillas are identified by their noseprints, which are as distinctive as our human fingerprints. When Miza and her mother, Lessinjina, disappear, the two rangers begin searching the mountainside for them. Beautiful photographs of the mountain gorilla family accompany this compelling story.

The Full List: