Sarah 's Reviews > Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Wicked Bugs by Amy  Stewart
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's review
Mar 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: animalia, death, beautiful-objects

This book is very pretty and nice to hold in your hands. My students were VERY impressed with how cool and ominous looking this book and its title are. I was sharing my current reading life with them and this was one of the books I was reading (to myself--not them) at the time. I used it to try to explain that animals that are harmful and predatorial aren't evil or mean-spirited but rather just made that way as a means of survival. That cute, fuzzy bunnies have their own means of survival--such as camouflage and the ability to stay still like the world. This type of conversation never works. When will I learn? I'm sure when I was their age, I thought wolves were mean and bunnies were nice and I would be angry at the lion and aching-hearted for the gazelle when I was accosted with a nature program against my will. Cartoons don't help, with their animal personification. Still I try, foolishly. I want to free them to be able to love the Bullet Ant, whose name comes from the pain its bite induces,a nd who I learned about in this book. It needs to give that painful of a bite so it and its family can continue to survive and keep its colony safe. It's like the U.S.A. and its tremendous arsenal of nuclear weapons. But I didn't get into that analogy with my students. They're not even ready to accept that a buzzard circling a dying, suffering creature in anticipation of its expiration isn't evil but rather living on instinct. And they're definitely not ready to accept the bugs, Stewart reports, that are living inside of us and on our eyelashes. So while I suggest you read it, (it's great for road trips!) I don't suggest that you read it to kids, unless they're the type who can handle it. I suppose Mike Reynolds' kid would like this book.

And, a word of warning, goodreaders, from the section on bookworms, "Books, to be saved from the worms, must be used."

Sarah Montambo Powell
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