The Elephant Scientist


  • Science related title
  • Age Range: Grades 5-8
  • Author: Caitlin O’Connell & Donna M. Jackson
  • Title: The Elephant Scientist
  • Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin
  • 2011
  • 72 pages.
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-05344-8
  • Awards: Robert F. Sibert Honor Book ~ Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book ~ School Library Journal starred review ~ A Junior Library Guild Selection ~ Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, K-12~ Amelia Bloomer List ~ Best Children’s Books of the Year, Bank St. College of Education ~ The John Burroughs Association Literary Awards, Nature Books for Young Readers Award.
  • Author’s website: and

Caitlin O’Connell studies elephants in the wild. Solid background information is delivered and O’Connell’s surprising insight that elephants communicate through underground vibrations is followed. We see experiments designed to test her theory that result in fresh understanding and practical applications.

The Elephant Scientist continues Jackson’s excellent ‘Scientists in the Field’ series. Strong book design and superb photographs compliment a text that manages to inform, thrill, inspire and move the reader. A thorough explanation of scientific method is affectingly coupled with the visceral pleasure of discovery and the satisfaction of helping to develop practical solutions that may help preserve and iconic and appealing animal.

Front matter includes acknowledgements, photo credits, a map of the African area of study and contents. Back matter includes an opportunity to adopt an elephant, resources for further study, a glossary, selected source notes and an index.


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