There is not a lot of obvious humor, but from the first page Montgomery will have you laughing and ewwwing (while laughing) while learning about the subject. A casual conversational tone makes this an easy read (from ages 10 to adult). She does not shy away from the details but presents them factually and interestingly. Learn about road pizza (people eat it, yes); how it is being made into art (Mother’s Day gift?); conservation of animals and even how studying roadkill can help humans (a cancer in Tasmanian devils is contagious, what does this mean for humans?) A main issue she makes sure she covers a couple different times is: DO NOT try this at home. Animals can carry diseases, fleas, are messy and much more. Therefore, yes, look but do not touch the next time you find a chicken (deer, turtle, bird, salamander, coyote, fox, rabbit) that did not cross the road.— Jeanette
An ALA Notable book
An Orbis Pictus Recommended title
When Heather L. Montgomery sees a rattlesnake flattened on the side of the road, her first instinct is to pick it up and dissect it--she's always wanted to see how a snake's fangs retract when they close their mouths, and it's not exactly safe to poke around in a live reptile's mouth. A wildlife researcher with a special penchant for the animals that litter the roadways, Heather isn't satisfied with dissecting just one snake. Her fascination with roadkill sets her off on a journey from her own backyard and the roadways of the American South to scientists and kids in labs and homes across the globe. From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for a contagious cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing left behind, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves up animal remnants, Heather discovers that death is just the beginning for these creatures.
This engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought--as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.
“The discoveries that arise from our flattened fauna will amaze you! . . . For all the literal blood and guts. . . there's nothing rotten about this book--it's a keeper.” —Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
“With wry humor, gory detail, and great enthusiasm, . . . this book is not for the faint of heart, but be prepared to laugh along the way and to learn a lot. . . Sure to be a hit among students. A top addition to STEM collections.” —Starred review, School Library Journal
“. . . [A]n extremely interesting treatise about roadkill and how it affects all our lives. . . . Montgomery inspires curiosity, asks excellent questions, and makes science and investigating roadkill fascinating to learn.” —Starred review, School Library Connection
“. . . [B]udding naturalists or eco-activists will find it a smashing read.” —Booklist