Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard” as Want to Read:
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Citizen Scientists, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Citizen Scientists

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  224 ratings  ·  85 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The author of this book, Loree Griffin Burns, is my friend and critique partner, but I'd be singing this praises even if she were a stranger who didn't make good soup. I love this book for so many reasons it's tough to know where to start.

There's the gorgeous, outdoor photography...that perfect nonfiction voice that's knowledgeable and fascinating but friendly, too... and opportunities for kids to get involve and extend the reading experience after the last page is turned.

But really, what I th
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly interesting and readable book! The book begins by explaining what citizen science is -- it's anyone who is interested in studying our world, in formal or informal ways. Loree Griffin Burns describes four examples of citizen scientists: tracking monarch butterfly migration, participating in an annual Christmas bird census, counting frogs by listening to mating calls, and mapping ladybug diversity.

This is a really solid nonfiction text. The author and photographer use pr
Melissa Stewart
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love that this book is so kid friendly. It features four projects--one for each season of the year--and includes sections written in the second person point of view, so kids will know it's for them. The book has plenty of examples of kids participating in citizen science projects and tips for how readers can get involved in the projects themselves. I just know this book will convert tons of kids into citizen scientists, and later, into adults who care for and protect the natural world.
This was amazingly helpful and inspired me to go look in the backyard!
Vannessa Anderson
Citizen Scientists is the study of our world by people who live in it. It is a well written book with beautiful photography that teaches us learning through observation.
Malinda Faber
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elm-572
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard is an informational text that begins by explaining what citizen science is – a type of science in which citizens make observations and collect data and send the information to lead scientists, who use the data in their official experiments. A somewhat lengthy picture, the four chapters of the book each describe a different citizen science experiment: fall butterflying, winter birding, spring frogging, and summer ladybugging. ...more
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: BE A PART OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY FROM YOUR OWN BACKYARD by Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz, photographer, Henry Holt, February 2012, 80p., ISBN: 978-0-8050-9517-3

“It’s poetry in motion, and when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean, as sweet as any harmony
She blinded me with science (‘She blinded me with science!’)
And failed me in geometry.”
-- Thomas Dolby

“Scientists are still studying these
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really interesting (but dense) book for kids about how to be a “citizen scientist.” What I like best is that the book demonstrates the fact that our own backyards and parks are areas where we can conduct significant scientific research, collect data that is relevant, and learn about the fascinating wild world around us. The book focuses on four species correlated with the four seasons: monarch butterflies of Fall, over-wintering birds, frogs in Spring, and summertime ladybugs. A lot of ...more
Zazu Gomez
This book is an informational book on how to conduct science research on your own that can actually make a difference in animal studies and animal populations. The book is divided into four sections: Monarch butterflies, Birds, Frogs, and Ladybugs. For the Monarch butterflies, there is a program called Monarch watch that shares a goal amongst thousands of people who catch butterflies, tag their wings, and then let them go. The birds chapter focuses on bird watching and collecting data based off ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Written for the intermediate grades, Citizen Scientist is a book about being an environmentalist in one's own backyard. Dr. Loree Griffin Burns has written three ALA Notable books previously. The photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz enhance the text in such detail that the reader will want to go outside immediately, no matter which season, to start investigating! There are four chapters: Fall Butterflying, Winter Birding, Spring Frogging, and Summer Ladybugging. Details about previous investigation ...more
Robyn Lynch
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-642
I cannot say enough good things about the quality of this nonfiction science informational text. The pictures are perfect and very abundant. I think the diagrams are a great additive and very helpful to the comprehension of the text. I love the whole premise of this book, that children can go out and become scientist right in their backyards and community. I would most likely use this book right in my classroom as the center of a focus lesson.
Erin Buhr
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book for the simple ways it exposes kids to the science right outside their door. Whether you are in the country or the city, this can easily be used to reinvigorate STEM learning and scientific explorations with elementary aged kids. I like the way it is broken up into four sections with a focus for each season. Easy to follow and full of helpful resources. Great book for parents and teachers alike.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My five year old son loves nonfiction about animals. This can make for some pretty dry reading aloud. This book was interesting to read, each chapter started with a little narrative that was written as if you were the character exploring their backyard/environment. Very enjoyable.
Tam Minton
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book for kids and parents who want to learn more about how they can do science in their own backyard...or community. The best part? The author gives names of who to reach in order to do science. Wonderful tool!
Chynna Cowan
This book gives so much insight as to what bugs and plants and birds do. It also encourages getting out and into the yard to see some of the amazing things that we may overlook that may be right in our own backyards.
Angelina Justice
It has taken me forever to get around to doing this review. But it is not because the book was hard to read. It is exactly because it is so well done that I'm just now doing a review.

Our Summer Reading theme next year is Feed Your Brain. It is going to center around the broad theme of science. As soon as I received this book and realized how great it was, I started taking notes and adapting the sections into library programs. I have already designed an entire program series pulled fr
Melissa T
****Please note that I won this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway program****

Originally posted on Melissa's Midnight Musings:

I have to say right off the bat that this is a great book. It's informative, well written, and most important of all, fun.

The first thing that caught my eye was the author's definition of citizen science. It's a very basic definition but still important. Burns defines citizen science as: "The study of our world by th
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Citizen Scientists is nominated for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Children's Book Award.

I'm not a big nonfiction reader. I'm also not fond of being outside. Many of my students, however, are my opposites. They love nonfiction, and they'd rather be outside than anywhere else. Citizen Scientists may be the perfect book for some of those students. This book takes a look at how kids can "be a part of scientific discovery from your own backyard." It presents the concept of citizen science in a way that most y
Citizen science is ‘the study of our world by the people who live in it” which means YOU! Kids are drawn to nature and what better place for them to learn about the science all around them. I love when my kids are out exploring and learning with a hands on approach. This book is fascinating in opening up my young ones eyes to the variety of nature that is in their own backyard during each season of the year.
Spring frogging entices kids to use their senses to listen for the different sounds of v
Tina Andrade
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-642
Griffin Burns, L. (2012). Citizen scientists: Be a part of scientific discovery from your own backyard. New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

2013 Orbis Pictus Honor.


This book is a fun and interactive book about science, science experiments, and how the reader can conduct simple experiments from her own backyard. The pages have background color and decoration much like a scrapbook, and each page is full of bright and colorful photographs, diagrams, and varying font
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another delightful, inspiring offering from Loree Griffin Burns, this title shows young readers and their teachers and families how they can make a difference in the world by getting involved in natural science. After explaining what it means to be a citizen scientist, the author provides four different ways to help scientists from your own backyard. She divides the efforts in seasonal style: Fall Butterflying, Winter Birding, Spring Frogging, and Summer Ladybugging. Each of those chapters expla ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Henry Holt & Company, 2012
80 pages
Recommended for grades 3-6

Initially alarmed by the notion of kids working to tag the fragile wings of the monarch butterfly, by the end of the section I was already making plans for doing this next fall with my students!
There are 4 main sections of this book that teach kids how they can become involved in the study of animals in their own communities. Monarchs, winter birds, frogs and ladybugs.
If you have children or
Makenzie Sliva
This is an incredibly well-written book that encourages young readers to go out and explore the world. Though this is targeted at younger children, I enjoyed it quite a bit and I took away quite a bit of knowledge from it. Loree Griffin Burns sparks the readers interest in becoming what she defines as a "citizen scientist." She defines a citizen scientist as anyone who lives in this world today and explains to the reader that they don't have to be an actual scientist to study the world around th ...more
Jim Erekson
I'm willing to bet Burns originally pitched this as a 4-book series, like Serafini's 4-book Looking Closely series. Each chapter has several parts, each with a different approach to text--the imaginative, the didactic, the 'be the scientist', and an equipment checklist and picture-matching quiz. There's a lot of text, compared to the DK approach to info text, but Burns' writing is very good and I the balance of texts and visuals was fine for me. My 8-year-old daughter read several parts I asked ...more
Rebecca Tenbrook
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Citizen Scientist is a book that is divided into four sections. The book describes activities that children could get signed up to do in their own backyard. These activities are butterflying, birding, frogging, and ladybugging. Each chapter discussed these activities in great depth. The book described programs you could get involved in to do these activities officially. They provided readers with a list of materials they would need to do each activity. It provided additional reading and websites ...more
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I loved this book! I was so pleased when I won it from Goodreads.

An overview: Citizen Scientists presents four different real-life research projects you and your family can participate in, one for each season related to different animals: butterflies for fall, birds for winter, frogs for spring, and ladybugs for summer.

The book is well written. Each section opens with an immersion, story-like description of the project, followed by more details on the scientific research, and lastly
Paul  Hankins
I got to see the early pages of this book last fall. I'll bet someone out there will remind me what this is called--I cannot think of it right now. Loree Griffin Burns does a solid job of presenting non-fiction subjects (Tracking Trash, The Hive Detectives) and CITIZEN SCIENTISTS will be welcomed by classroom teachers looking to address NF found in the new standards.

The early pages I saw were about the monarch butterfly project that talks about how these are tagged and tracked (simply amazing).
Danielle Brill
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Citizen Scientists by Loree Griffin Burns is a great way for young readers to get excited and involved with science in a hands-on way. There are four chapters in the book: butterflies, birds, frogs, and ladybugs. Each animal exploration has its own season so kids can do experiments, explore, and learn throughout the year. The text is scientific and precise, educating children on the important facts and features of each animal, but with child friendly language. I think each exploration would be f ...more
Jessica Deboer
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book to get kids interested in science and the outdoors! Burns does an excellent job of walking us through the process of collecting data for four different animals, one for each season of the year. She also shows us what other kids have already done in the field, as well as advice on how to get started. The back of the book is filled with resources specific to each animal and general resources as well as a glossary and index for reference. The photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz add ...more
Rachel Pederson
This was a great non-fiction book written by Loree Griffin Burns. This book encourages children to be scientists on their own, outside of the classroom! The book is divided into 4 sections, each for an activity in every season of the year. Not only does Burns give children information about the animals/insects that are prevalent during that season, she explains ways to catch them and examine them for different parts and information. She creatively uses animals that are easy for children to ident ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wishtree
  • The Polar Bear Scientists
  • Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends
  • We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time
See similar books…
Loree is a scientist-turned-writer specializing in books about science and nature for young readers. You can learn more about her adventures and her books by visiting her website ( or by following her blog (